Winning at poker is more than just math and strategy. Read here for effective Poker Skills and psychological hacks that can boost your game and understanding of your opponents.

Introduction: Once a poker player has mastered the math involved in this globally popular card game, there are subtle behaviors and tells that can affect his game. Poker strategies are all about identifying the behavior and mindset of the opponents while at the same time being mindful of the gestures and body language of one’s self. Further, ensuring a healthy mindset even during the highs and lows faced during the game are critical to avoid any rash decisions. With these psychological tips, players can raise the level of their poker game significantly while also learning more about their opponents.

Evaluate your emotions before you hit the table: Some days may not be the best and you may be troubled even before you sit at the poker table. On such days, be sure to consider your emotions before you decide to play. If you are playing for a distraction, pick a low stakes table and play with the amount you know you can gamble. Also, set aside a specific amount to play with. The minute you spend it all, instantly get away from the table.

Identify your opponents: Once you have a complete psychological check on yourself, it’s time to analyze your opponents. Start by grouping them loosely as loose or tight-held based on how fast and how much they bet. Subtle aspects like the attention to detail, the way they talk and dress, all of it plays an important role in the behavior of a person. A louder or brash personality is more indicative of an intimidating player who may get aggressive with his bets. Here, be careful not to get egged on by their behavior and maintain your mind calm. On the other hand, players that are softer and wear subtle colors are more likely to play conservatively and be more cautious with their bets. However, before assuming a player to be a certain way, keep in mind that poker is a lot about psychology and bluffing, so it may also be an act. With careful attention and constant observation, over time players can better distinguish and identify their opponents.

Monitor your response to your opponents’ play

Sometimes in a poker game, it is easy to get caught up or influenced by the behavior of other people. Keep a watch on yourself and check for any changes that may affect your game. If someone is being too loud and disrupting your ability to concentrate, find another table. Also, if you feel someone is able to read your poker game better than you’d like, sit that game out.

Try and evaluate your image: Just like you are evaluating your opponents, they will be evaluating you too. Try and think of yourself from their perspective and identify any tells or significant behavior styles you may be projecting. If you can bluff well, use them to your advantage. For a newbie, try and control them before you can complicate things for yourself by bluffing.

Conclusion: Playing the cards and aiming for the best hand is critical for a win, but psychology plays an important role in poker too. Once you have a handle on the cards and overall strategy, be mindful of the psychology of yourself and your opponents. This is sure to raise your game to a whole new level.