Poker is probably the most addictive gambling activity in both online and physical casinos. Unlike the past where poker tables were dominated by men, women and even teenagers enjoy placing their bets and entrusting their money’s fate to the cards they hold. However, like other gambling activities, poker can be very tricky. Because of the popularity of poker faces, you may not be able to assess whether you’re up against a professional player or an amateur. This assessment is important because it can help you estimate who you’re against and therefore strategize correctly before you play.
To identify if your opponent is an amateur or a pro, here are each one’s characteristics. Poker is not spielautomaten. In poker, we must be able to think.
The Characteristics of an Amateur Poker Player
An amateur poker player has a lot of pent up energy, is motivated, and though they may not know everything, they are eager to learn. New or less experienced poker players can further be divided into two categories: those who believe they know everything and can win the game easily, and those who feel queasy while playing but believe that through experience they will learn. However, both share the same primary traits, which are:
- Impatience - Irrespective of what is shown in movies, poker is a game that requires immense patience. It requires the player to wait either for good hands to play or for their opponent to make a move which they can dictate. It is important to make the most of this waiting time, but amateurs usually do not do so, which often costs them the game.
- Misinterpreting Body Language - Most expert players try to mislead their opponents through telltale body and face expressions. This gives amateurs more confidence, which leads them to lose their hands.
Imperfect Poker Face - It is very important to keep emotions and expressions in check during a game of poker. Managing your own is a difficult art to master as it requires time and experience. Therefore, less experienced players can easily give away their positions because they aren’t experts in hiding their emotions.
The Traits of a Professional Poker Player
A professional poker player is a seasoned competitor, a formidable foe and a master of the cards. He is well aware of the game’s pits and falls and manages to overcome each and every one of them. If you want to assess whether or not you’re against a pro, here are the traits you should look out for:
- Experience - Professional poker players have years of experience at the table. They have learned from their mistakes and have capitalized on them. These people devote their time to learn the ins and outs of the game and are capable of analyzing what means would give them an edge over the others. You can spot this from the way they handle cards or their use of proper poker terminology.
- Know When to Play - Unlike amateurs, professionals know when to play and when to restrain themselves from placing a costly bet. They are sure of their skills and don’t bet on every hand they get. Learning when to play and which bet to place is an art in itself and professionals are the best at it. This trait may be harder to decipher by amateurs, but you will be able to discover it after gaining some experience yourself.
- Cool Body Language and Sharp Interpretation Skills - Professional players are experts at reading others. You can watch their eyes critically observe others’ habits at the table. Therefore, they know exactly what not to do and can trick their opponents. If your opponent is natural and isn’t leaning towards extreme calmness or nervousness, then you’re definitely against a pro.
Mistakes and losses are a part of the world of poker, but only the best poker players are those who have the ability to pick themselves up, learn from their mistakes and move on. So, make every poker session a chance to learn and enjoy the game.