Creating a Table Image in Texas Holdem: Basic Online Poker Strategy
Deception and perception are two key components of a winning Hold’em player’s cerebral make-up. The ability to deceive is essential and is only surpassed by the need for a keen sense of perception.
These two primary skills are elements in defining table image. Texas Hold’em is about perceiving your opponents ability to deceive, and deceiving their ability to perceive. However, these abilities are more difficult to use in the online arena.
Physical tells don’t exist in online poker so players must rely on betting patterns, timing, playing history, and convincing chatbox dialog to confuse, and/or pick up reads on, their opponents. Here in lies the creation of table image.
Your prowess at using and manipulating these abilities defines how other players at the table see you. The creativity of your play, changes in your timing, and variation of your card choice contribute to this perception.
Using Table Image to Your Advantage
The object is to use this image (tight or loose) to your advantage. Use your tight image to steal pots, use your loose image to take big pots when your opponent doesn’t think you have a hand. This is an essential element in winning at any kind of poker online.
Particularly crafty players will vary their projected table image, known as changing gears, to further confuse their opponents. Keep them guessing, garner action when you need the action, then sit and watch when you don’t have the hand.
Changing gears keeps the other players at the table off guard, and makes your general playing style much harder to detect. Keeping other on the defensive also distracts them from trying to maintain their own valuable table image.
While changing up your style to confuse other players, managing to get a good read on your opponent is vital in deciding how to play a certain hand, thus influential in the creation of your table image.
Reading the Table Image of Others
Demonstrating the capacity to read an opponent well puts them in fear of bluffing you. Having a keen sense of what your opponents are going to do with what possible cards enables you to decide when to make plays at the pot.
Proving these qualities establishes you as a solid player, one with unpredictable tendencies and an understanding of the unknowable yet determinable. Using your table image is the key to playing profitable poker online.