In today’s poker world, whether in real or in online casinos, anyone has a chance to cash-in high, whether in a tournament or in a cash match. Everyone has a place at the table from the casual business guy to the experienced digital specialist, but can you say who is who? Discriminating between the two is the difference between a gain and a loss, and it may not be as simple as you think.
Here’s our rundown of 7 signs to help you find your table with a professional poker player:
7. Consumption of Alcohol – This is probably the easiest way to tell if your opponent is an amateur professional or casual. If he consumes alcohol, be it a beer or a double Jack and Coke, you can immediately exclude him as a professional. No professional poker player with the right mind would drink alcohol before or during the game.
6. Chip Stacking – A player’s stacking of his chips is a good indicator of the player’s form. An inexperienced player does not pay much attention to how his chips are arranged, usually in mixed colors in a rather sloppy way. When an amateur has his big chips behind his small chips, one of the best signs is. Both professional players know this is wrong, but this rule is either overlooked or misunderstood by most amateurs.
5. Age – Another good sign of playing a “whiz kid” online is age. If you’re playing in a high-stakes poker game or a relatively large buy-in competition, you can bet the kid sitting across the table hasn’t won his Starbucks buy-in. If you look no older than 20 or 21 at a costly table and your opponent, it’s a tell-tale sign that he’s a professional.
4. Excitation – Amateurs tend to get excited when there are different situations on the table. Whether three kings are falling on the flop or someone is making quads, your typical amateur is likely to get excited and start blabbering as it’s all new to him. On the other hand, the expert would demonstrate the case utter disinterest, probably nodding and laughing at the remarks of the amateurs.
3. Hole Cards Checking – One of the most important signs that you play a professional poker player is where their eyes are after the first two cards are dealt. Generally an inexperienced player will be willing to look at his cards while dealing the two hole cards in Texas Hold’em, which will send off tells to his rivals. The typical player is not going to look at his cards right away, but pause to watch the game until he looks at him. As you look at your hole cards, the professional player will look at you. So next time you’re looking at what cards you’ve got, take a break and give a glimpse of who’s watching you. These are the advantages.
2. V.P.I.P – You’ve probably heard about the word VPIP if you’re an online poker junkie. If not, justify to us. VPIP stands for putting in pot on a voluntary basis and is one of the most accurate signs that you are playing a professional. A professional player will have a VPIP of about 18%-20%, which means he gets involved in pots in 5 hands each. Usually, amateurs will have a much higher VPIP because they get excited when they see more flops with the chance to win more money.
1. Emotions – We all know poker is a game of mind. Therefore, the ability to control their emotions is the strongest advantage professionals have over the novice players. After taking a bad beat or suckout, you’ll never see a pro get upset. Even after delivering a poor bead or winning a big pot, you will never see a professional being excited.
Though, by faking reactions and blowouts, most pros will try to fool you into thinking that they are amateurs. This will make them feel like they’re “steaming.” They’re not really, it’s all a trick to get you to pay them off.