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Poker Psychology

Article written by Randy G.

Most other games like chess, checkers, or backgammon, all you need to do is learn the best strategy and you will be a good player. Poker has strategy but to be truly one of the best, you also need to employ poker psychology.

You need to know the playing style of your opponents and what their perceptions are of you. You use psychology to project that a hand is better than it is or weaker than it is and use that to your advantage.

Probably one of the most known cases of using poker psychology was when Jack Strauss was dealt a 7 2 off suit. He raised and was called by one player and the flop was 7-3-3 giving him top two pair with a horrible kicker. His opponent bet $5,000 indicating to him, a big pocket pair. So he called and the turn came a 2 giving him a third useless pair and he bet $18,000. His opponent was now confused and didn’t know what to put his opponent on. So Jack told him “I’ll tell you what, just gimme one of those $25 chips of yours and you can see either one of my cards.” His opponent tossed over the chip and turned over the deuce. His opponent folded thinking the other card was a 2 as well and that was why he made the offer. His opponent was now sure that Jack had a full house and folded his hand. It would have worked just as well if he had turned over the 7 thinking he had two sevens in the hole. This poker psychology allowed Jack to steal the pot.

Playing poker without psychology to best of your abilities will only make you an above average player at best. To become the best, you need to utilize poker psychology skills.

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