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Poker Strategy

  • Flow
    Clearspine 2011/01/24 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    There was a hand a couple of seasons ago on High Stakes Poker where Barry Greenstein committed close to a half-million dollars to a pot against Tom Dwan, when he knew he was going in with much the worst of it, and was an underdog in the hand. After he took down the hand, Greenstein said that he just felt he was going to win the hand, and even though the math was wrong, he instinctively knew it was the right move.

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  • Clearing Bonuses
    Clearspine 2010/12/27 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Clearing Bonuses
    From time to time, the site or sites that you play on may offer you a bonus, which requires that you play a certain number of raked hands in a given period of time in order to collect the money. The psychology of this is brilliant: After all, who can resist “free” money, especially a gambler? However, it is important to realize just what the site has in mind in making the offer, and make your playing decisions accordingly.

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  • Level Four Thinking
    Clearspine 2010/10/20 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Level Four Thinking
    Level Four thinking is the gateway to the most complex and intricate plays at the poker table. This level can best be summed up by the statement “What does he think I think he has?” A player who can consistently act from this level is the most dangerous opponent imaginable in a game, because he or she becomes almost impossible to predict. This player will develop strategies to carry out over an entire cash game session, or over the course of a tournament, to combat whatever you own style is.

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  • Level Three Thinking
    Clearspine 2010/09/23 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Level Three Thinking
    While the level one thinker considers only the two cards in his/her hand and whether or not it is a “winning” hand, and the level two thinker takes into account the cards his opponent may hold, level three thinking can best be summed up with the concept “What does he (my opponent) think I have?” Understanding this idea, and incorporating it into your play when appropriate, gives you a huge edge over players who are not taking it into account.

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  • Level Two Thinking
    Clearspine 2010/09/14 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Level Two Thinking
    While a Level One thinker considers nothing beyond the two cards he/she is holding in evaluating whether or not to play a hand, the Level Two thinker moves one step beyond that, trying to work out what his opponent holds as well before taking action. The vast majority of players that you find online fit into this category, and unless you have evidence to the contrary, you should usually assume that your opponent(s) is playing that type of game.

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  • Level One Thinking
    Clearspine 2010/07/19 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Level One Thinking
    In becoming a successful poker player, it is essential to understand the “game within a game,” i.e. the psychological twists and turns that may be present in every hand that is dealt. These mental permutations take place between the players who are in the hand, and are largely dependent on the levels of thinking that each uses to try and analyze the action. The deeper you can go in your analysis, the more you will be able to compete at any stakes level against anyone whom you come across. This article talks about Level One thinking, what it is and what its limitations are.

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  • The Squeeze Play
    Clearspine 2010/07/13 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    The Squeeze Play
    One of the most exciting moves in poker, not to mention one of the most profitable, is the squeeze play. In a multi-table tournament, this strategy, executed at the proper time, can give a much-needed boost to your chip stack, as well as letting your opponents know that you are a dangerous player capable of making a move at any time.

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  • Don’t Tap The Glass
    Clearspine 2010/07/05 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Don’t Tap The Glass
    If you’ve ever owned fish, you know that they will often swim right over to the outside of their aquarium tanks, staying there for long stretches of time with their mouths pressed right up against the barrier that separates them from the rest of the world. However, if you strike the glass wall that they are resting on, they will immediately swim away. It is from this phenomenon that the poker expression “Don’t Tap The Glass” was derived.

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  • Staying Off Tilt
    Clearspine 2010/06/16 Clearspine Poker Psychology

    Staying Off Tilt
    “Being on tilt” is the most deadly state that a poker player can be in. Just as with a pinball machine, from where the term is derived, when your nervous system is on tilt, you can’t operate in a useful way. You are broken, and, just as the pinball machine needs to be reset in order to function, so similarly do you.

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  • The biggest mistakes that poker players make
    Aaron Hendrix 2010/04/27 Aaron Hendrix Poker Psychology

    The biggest mistakes that poker players make
    Everyone makes mistakes in poker. It's what you do with them, how you adjust, IF you adjust, that makes the difference between the winning player and the losing player. There are too many mistakes that players make to ever possibly list them in a short article but this article will list the biggest mistakes that are made on a routine basis are and will show you what they are, how to identify them, and at the end, a quick way to figure out the mistakes you are making and correct them.

    Raising with marginal hands in early position

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  • Six Slow Playing Screwups
    Aaron Hendrix 2009/09/21 Aaron Hendrix Poker Psychology

    Six Slow Playing Screwups
    Imagine you're playing in the biggest poker tournament of your life. A maniac at your table has been bullying you around and you're sick and tired of it, but you're being patient and waiting for the perfect opportunity to get all of his chips. Finally, you get a monster in the form of pocket aces. It's your big blind and you can already see the delight in the maniac's eyes as he looks at you and grabs some chips. 'I raise', he says. The action is folded to you and you decide that you're going to get tricky. You just call. 

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