Poker is a game that, at first glance, requires a lot of thought and intensive move-making. This isn’t too far from the truth – after all, beyond simply ‘getting the best hands’, it is ultimately a game of fantastic strategy and people-reading. It’s not unheard of for newbie poker players to focus largely on the types of card they have, and whether they can make plays straight away.
However, as you grow into the game, it starts to get ever clearer that you need to think more about the people at the table than your cards. Whether you are playing at an NJ online casino or are taking on a table in real life, it’s safe to say that there’s going to be a lot of intensive thinking and calculating going on. But – and let’s be honest here – how much thinking is too much?
The never-ending thought spiral
Just as many of us can overthink and over-analyze the problems and issues we face in everyday life, the same applies to how we conduct ourselves at the poker table. Many experts agree that poker thoughts tend to stack up from simply ‘how can I use these cards’ towards endless assumptions about other players.
For example, from thinking about your cards, you will likely start thinking about the other players, and the cards they are likely to have. However, in turn, they are going to be thinking about your hand and how you are holding yourself at the table. That’s where the poker face comes in – there’s going to be a lot of assumption and second-guessing. That goes for playing poker online, too!
And this, crucially, is where things get even more complex. You’re already thinking about your hand and what other players may be holding – but now, you’re thinking about what they might be thinking about you! On top of that, you’re now thinking about what they believe you have in your hand, and what they think you think about them… it’s a headache waiting to happen.
So, what’s the remedy?
The remedy to over thinking in poker is to take each moment as it comes. Yes, many players have poker strategies that they use from game to game that can work wonders for them. However, when it comes to an overall strategy that works universally, you should aim to focus on your game and how you hold yourself. The truth is, you never truly know what other people are thinking, and the same applies to how we conduct ourselves in society.
Therefore, if you do find yourself worrying about what others at the table are doing, just remember that everyone else there is likely to be on the same page or level as you. Therefore, focus on taking opportunities as and when they arise, and if a move doesn’t feel right, go with your gut. You could lose hours wondering about what people are thinking about your hand and how you play –so let that be your concern alone!