The Role of Psychology in Poker

Poker is a card game that is immensely popular the world over. With the number of casinos, Internet poker game rooms and televised events constantly on the rise, it is no surprise that the game is perhaps the single most in demand across the globe. As newcomers look to pick up the tricks of the game and old-hands seek to better their techniques, literature in the form of instructions, tips, inside secrets and so on can be found to abound in the markets.

While most of these writings are concerned with instructions regarding strategies and techniques of actually playing the game, few people realize the importance of understanding the psychological aspect of the game. While playing tactics and stratagem are undeniably important, the working of one’s psychological self during the game can make or break one’s game.

The inner workings of one’s personality can determine one’s strength as a player, because while the card hand being dealt to you is your most crucial tool in the game, how you use those cards and whether you make the best of them or not is dependent on your personal characteristics. Behavior and personality traits such as those of mental planning and preparation, confidence, insecurities and fears, discipline and dedication, risk-taking and caution and so on and so forth not only determine the quality of your game but also your earnings in the long run.

Even though short term gains are possible in the form of winning pots in individual rounds, if you want to make a considerable gain out of playing the game, you will have to learn the importance of exerting control over your psyche and harnessing all energy such that you never lose sight of the goal as a result of minor obstacles. Discipline, self-control and restraint are the three most important characteristics any poker player must learnt to inculcate in order to overcome the wide variety of problems that can come in the way during the course of the game.

Most players tend to get carried away by the thrill and the excitement of the game, and to be able to excel at the game in the long run it is imperative to achieve complete control over oneself in order to be able to face all sorts of adversaries and problems in a calm manner. Since you will be playing against a variety of people and in a number of challenging and sometimes taxing situations, control over your temper and behavior is mandatory.

Experts advise laying a solid groundwork for your game. Not everyone can excel at all varieties of poker so it is important to recognize where your talents lie and to concentrate only in that direction. Once you know the kind of game you can excel at, work on building a positive yet practical attitude. It is important not to let a minor loss or setback take you down completely, but one must also know when it is time to close the game. Getting carried away will only lead to losses and it is in governing these impulses that self-control comes handy.

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