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Importance of Table Image in Poker

Table image is an exceptionally important element that many players experienced or new many times forget to take into consideration. The table image you project effects how other players will perceive you and in turn, how they will look to deal with you. Every player, whether they have thought about it consciously or not, has treated the aggressive player drastically different than the player that plays close to the vest and conservative. This is exactly the kind of thing that controlling your table image can help you as a player manage. It is certainly another psychological element of poker that good players need to address.

Most players have a preferred play style and that is fine but playing it in different manners can help to make the games more fun and help to show you how the effects will strategically alter the perceptions other poker players have of you. Table images range from everything to that exceptionally bad player that plays every hand and drops out after the flop to those players that play with precision and are feared by opponents.

There is a lot in-between those two extremes but the truth of the matter is that different persona’s may be more effective at different tables. Playing more aggressively at a conservative table is generally a good idea and at some point will force other players to play looser if they are constantly finding themselves calling against you, and when controlled properly this can mean dollar signs for you! Playing more conservatively against that precision player may also be the wiser choice and may help you entrap him on a few hands that he might not suspect.

Things that help to characterize you with other players is your appearance if it’s not online. Other things, perhaps more controllable, are things like when you bet how much do you typically bet? What cards do you win with? How often do you play a hand? All these things help to create the image in the mind of your opponents known as table image.

For example - those players that may only play one hand out of every ten dealt will be treated with concern when he plays and this is bad because it means other players will fold out to you. They will quickly recognize that you are waiting for monster hands and not trust to play against you when you do in fact play. In most situations staying with this table image severely limits you; however it can also be a good image to portray in some situations.

What all players need to be aware of is themselves because then they can stay focused and under control when dealing with others. Staying on top of your own image and your own psychology will give you the edge to direct it to control others and help your calls and the manner in which others perceive you.


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