Free Article 6 - Table Image
Whenever you play poker, whether it is online or live, you should always be aware of the way your opponents are playing. It is important to try and gather as much information as possible on the other players at the table to help you influence your decisions in later hands. Are your opponents tight or loose? Are they weak or are they aggressive? It is this sort of information that is key to making profitable decisions throughout each of your poker sessions. But apart from thinking about how you see your opponents, what are your opponents thinking about you?
This is also a key question that you should also consider whilst you play, yet it is something that is often overlooked. Knowing how your opponents view you as a player is just as important as having an idea of how they are playing themselves. This is especially true in the game of no limit Texas Holdem where psychology plays an important role. But why exactly is this important? And what effect should this have on your game?
Depending on the way you play, your opponents will be considering how to categorize you just like you do to them according to different playing styles. If you find yourself getting involved in numerous pots and regularly making continuation bets and bluffing, they may well be categorizing you as a loose and aggressive player in their minds. Similarly, if you are only getting involved with a minimal number of pots and only calling and betting when you have the best of it, your opponents will be noting down that you are a tight player that they should probably avoid having too many confrontations with.
If you feel that it is quite obvious that your opponents consider you to be a certain type of player, you can use it to your advantage by playing differently in future hands. For example, if your opponents think you are tight and only get involved when you have the best of it, you will find that you will have a higher success rate when it comes to bluffing because they will have a good reason to believe that you have a strong hand because of the way you have been playing earlier in the session. Conversely, if you have been playing loosely and have been entering a number of pots, your ability to pull off successful bluffs will be reduced because your opponents are less inclined to think you have a strong hand when you bet.
As a general rule, you should try and play the opposite to the way that your opponents think you are playing. So if they see you as a loose player, you should play tight, and if they see you as a tight player, it will be profitable to loosen up your starting hand requirements. It is never a good idea to fall into patterns when you play poker, so you should always try and change gears from time to time to keep your opponents guessing. If your opponents are unsure of the way you play, you will find that you can make more profit from them than if they know how you play and you continue to play the same way throughout each session.
So the next time you sit down at the poker table, make sure that you are always aware of the way you play and how your opponents will view you as a poker player. Having a good knowledge of your table image at all times is a valuable piece of Holdem strategy that can save you a lot of money as well as help you to win money.
Be aware that these kinds of impressions are built up over time, and so you should not expect players to have a concrete opinion on your style of play after only a few hands. Whenever you reach a showdown, try and consider the implications of your cards being shown to the table, whether you win or lose. This could help stimulate players to form opinions of your style of play that you can later exploit later on in the session.
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