Play Less Hands When Opponents Play More
In poker, psychology is a huge part of the game. This is even true with online poker, although many people do not believe so. And while it’s a fact that it’s very tough to get inside the head of an opponent that you can’t see, it is still possible to make accurate decisions based upon group psychology laws. The good news is that while it is not easy for you, it’s also not easy for your opponents to do the same with your play. The even better news is that because you know this, you can use it to your advantage to play in a manner that belies these psychological theories. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a good poker face, you can alter your play in a way that makes it very difficult or even impossible for others to “know” what you are thinking.
So how do you do this? First, start with what you do know about poker in general. There are four types of players, in general. Loose-Aggressive, Loose-Passive, Tight-Aggressive, and Tight-Passive. At lower levels of play, the loose players are much more common while the tight players are usually found with higher stakes. Now look at what levels you play at. If you play at the $40/$80 table, you will likely see very different style of play than if you are at the $0.05/$0.10 table. This can be used to help you out in a big way.
Why? Because when someone makes a bet at a lower level, the possibility of them having an awesome hand is far lower than if they were playing at a high level. A basic poker fact is that people are less willing to play a lot of hands at high levels simply because when you play a lot of hands, you lose a lot of hands. So if you’re at a high level, you stand to lose more. And because at the higher levels people tend to be better at the game (not always true, but in general), they are aware that you should play fewer hands, this becomes a big part of their game. Think about it, if you stand the chance of losing $1,000, it only makes sense that you will be a bit more cautious than if you will only lose $1. Tight play at the high levels is a preservation technique.
But you know this, and you can use it to help you win more money. If people are playing fewer hands, it doesn’t mean that they are getting worse hands. You will be dealt the same hands, on average, at the high levels that you will see at the low levels. There’s only 52 cards in a deck, regardless of where you are playing. So if you’re opponents are not playing enough hands, you can play a few more to capitalize on this. And if they are playing too many hands, you can play less to compensate. This is simple psychology that applies to the game regardless of whether you are playing online or at a brick and mortar casino. Only the very best players know this, though, and only those ones will be playing in this manner consciously. Therefore, you can safely play like this and reap the benefits most of the time.