Could you be a winning poker player with JUST psychology skills?

Pokergambler11

Pokergambler11

Rock Star
Do you think you could be a winner from just knowing your opponents really well? And being able to read like a master? I see a lot of top poker players are mathematicians, but if you practically know your opponents hand you could win poker with just general math knowledge and good skills and reading and manipulating your table image
 
MattRyder

MattRyder

🛸 Happy World UFO Day!
Awards
13
I think so. If it were only math, it wouldn't really be a game. The quicker you can develop a read on the other players, the more you have to gain. At the most basic level, knowing who is going to stick with bottom or middle pair allows you to super-size your bets with better hands. Knowing who is really tight allows you to steal with the worst possible hands and also tells you when to fold. Knowing who is likely to bluff, and how they bet when they do it, allows you to make a killing with really weak hands.

CroppedImage_650_320__WM-04.22.2013pokerandpsychology.jpg
 
M

Mauno

Rock Star
Agree. Poker has psychology in it. If You have good hand then You cinvince opponents to fold. Sometimes You can do same with nothing.
Probably it works better in higher level cash games.
 
acidburnfx

acidburnfx

Senior apprentice
Awards
15
BR
Psychology (mental logic) skills is only part of the process, but combined with administration (math) becomes excellent.
 
quick

quick

Legend
Awards
1
I played live casino poker for first time this past weekend. As someone training to be a psychologist (and went with a buddy who is also training to be a psychologist) I think you could, with practice, gain an edge in both live and online poker with psychology skills. I'd say the edge would be better live then online as online you'd rely more on purely villain fear and putting them in pressure spots whereas live you'd do that AND learn to read players physical and verbal tells using that against them. And especially being able to detect tilt and exploit that.

In only my second time playing live there was an older guy playing who seemed to be a reg but was extremely aggressive with mediocre hands. He showed down way too much with crap like Q3o pairing his Q on flops like QdAd10s. Over a few hours he swung down to maybe $50 then up to probably $400-500 before losing that all, rebuying twice, then losing most of that to me when another player pointed out his tell (and I saw he was tilting, reshoving more). Initially he set mined a ton and would only raise someone with sets, as he tilted, he got sloppy. I took a risk based on this psychological read on him checked a flopped set on a rainbow board ahead of him, sure enough he bet, I re-raised, he shoved, I insta called (and bizarrely got another player to come along for the all in) and won. He had like K4 on a K62 flop ending with K6299 for my 6's full.

However I wonder if the psychological edge is greater at higher live stakes than say $1/2 since most regs at $1/2 I've talked to feel that there's still lots of fishy players who "just wanna have fun" and will be oblivious to your attempts to scare them off draws or tap into an anxiety about losing money.

It's probably doable at certain stakes but you'd still need to apply good reads on people like betting patterns, signs of tilt, tells. And if you knew nothing at all about chances of completing draws, # outs, then you'd misapply your psych edge on boards where the other person definitely isn't folding.
 
rflbarreto

rflbarreto

Rock Star
No .... JUST is really not for it. you could be winner just with technique but not only psychology
 
Kenzie 96

Kenzie 96

Legend
Awards
9
Against the top players, no. Your taking a stick to a gunfight.
 
HowS

HowS

Rock Star
In live poker it can play a big roll, but for online, it's rarely makes a difference.

But it's good to improve on all parts of the game, even improving your mindset is very important.
 
G

galojmi

Rock Star
I agree if you really read your opponents you mostly wins but with it technical skills are very important...
Knowing only your opponents well is not enough
 
6

6bet me

Visionary
No.

If you don't know anything about the maths of poker - bet sizing, raise sizing, stack to pot ratio, pot odds, implied odds, probability of hitting draws, equity against ranges, etc. - then you will probably never get past 1/2 live or 2NL online.

Psychology alone is insufficient. You need some maths skills to succeed at poker.
 
BLACKSOLDIER

BLACKSOLDIER

Rock Star
Awards
1
Well I don't know much...

Sure understanding different perspectives will enhance a persons game but as a wise man has said 'I'd rather be lucky than good !'.
 
C

CHILOWWW

Rock Star
of course have knowledge in psychology, it is a great advantage because that is what psychology to analyze the behavior of human beings and in poker is where most behaviors are strangers and a type studied could be held easy desifrar that this so
 
miric007

miric007

Visionary
Of course if you can read your opponents does not matter what cards you hold in your hands, you win knowing that the opponent is bluffing
 
N

nenkov407

Rock Star
Psychology is one of the "weapons". But you still need math, patience and a good read of your own cards. I mean even if you know your opponent has nothing you are still losing if you entered the pot with 62o and there are 7 10 K 4 5 on the board since he would have a higher pocket card most of the time.
 
cazual88

cazual88

Visionary
It is impossible to use this trick (win without hand) very often. Because all the oponents try to adjust your game. I use my psychology skills, it is an art to use it right)
 
D

DrakeM

Enthusiast
Some knowledge of psychology cant do any harm, but psychology skills on their own wont get you very far.

In my opinion its rather a tool or an aid which can help in some situations, especially in live poker.
 
mar_dragan

mar_dragan

Legend
Of course if you know to read you got the game.
In this case you know when to call,when to fold so if you are mind reader you can be very good in poker!
 
Kenzie 96

Kenzie 96

Legend
Awards
9
Of course, you can also be a 5' 6" NBA player. Thing is a complete player is gonna kick your arse on a regular basis. The "be as little as you can be" attitude, will cost you in poker just like in any other aspect of life.
 
CriesuaID

CriesuaID

Visionary
Awards
1
It is of great help. Although, without the other necessary skills, it is not possible to be successful in Poker only psychological skills.
 
R

Reelmookey

Rock Star
yes i think it is but being good psycologically is good bacuase youcan still curb your math and position skills which when fully rounded you would be a top poker player
 
P

Prolaznik

Rock Star
Of course, you can also be a 5' 6" NBA player. Thing is a complete player is gonna kick your arse on a regular basis. The "be as little as you can be" attitude, will cost you in poker just like in any other aspect of life.
You don't have to play in leagues with significant percentage of complete players. There is a plenty of room (and enough money) a couple of leagues below.
 
Odysseus101

Odysseus101

Rock Star
A good knowledge of psychology is indeed a bonus, as is a good knowledge of math. Poker is both. Even in an online game if you observe a player over time you should be able to get a handle on their betting patterns, on what they like to call on when the bet to them is 3BB and in what position and with what stack. It'll take more time in online play than in real life but it can be done.

One problem I've had on cash tables is when a player is replaced by another in an online account. This happens a lot in eastern bloc countries. Obviously, 5 guys who live together all take turns playing the same account. Maybe they are playing a similar style in order to grind on PS for example. I've seen platinum star players make some dumb calls. I assume it's because that account is being passed between roommates to get the most rakeback through loyalty points on PS.

Anyway, in my humble opinion there is a lot of psychology in poker. Being an expert in body language would be even better in live tables. But that skill is only one needed to really kick ass.

For example, psychology will help (especially in a live game), preflop. But it would certainly help your odds if you knew enough math to calculate approximate odds of hitting your outs preflop too. The best players have all of those skills.
 
Top