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   Wednesday, December 19 2018 
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Online Poker Guide: Psychological Games

Many of the best gamers of all times had the special talent of being able to joke and tease enough to put their opponents off guard, but in online poker, you're not going to be able to tease your opponents enough. You can't laugh at them, and you can't enrage them from another computer screen in another house. You'll have to learn the other sides of psychological play for online poker.

The more you know about a player, the better you'll be able to play. If the player isn't very smart, you'll have to assume that he's playing his hand simply. Smarter players are actually more interesting to play against. If a good player has a good hand and has reason to believe that you know he has a good hand, and you raise to that player, the player will assume that you may have a better hand, and may well fold. You always have to think of what the player is telling you by how they play. Then you have to figure out how to send the message that you want to send. So if you have a weak hand, but you've decided to bluff it out, you need to know who you're bluffing against. If a player is showing a good hand on his upcards, and you're still raising, the other player will assume your hand is really better. If you just keep raising on no basis, it will often be caught as an amateurish attempt to bluff.

Always remember - if a player assumes that you will call and he raises, that means he's not bluffing. If your hand isn't strong enough, fold it. No one ups their bet when they expect to be called!

An important thing to remember is that when you raise, you are sending a message. If you have a great hand and you don't raise, you may end up with a bigger pot than if you had raised. If you raise, then you will cause weaker players to fold, whereas if you only call, those after you may also call, meaning that the pot will increase. Remember that while a raise will cause your competition to fold, if you have a good hand, you have no interested in anyone folding.

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