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Poker Room Reviews
Poker Table ImageTable image is the identity created by yourself based on your actions and your opponents interpretation of those actions. It is an important factor both in online and live games, although more opportunities arise to create a misleading image of yourself in the live games.
It is important to create a strong and clear image that your opponents can easily read and equally important to be proficient at reading your opponents image, aswell as understanding how to manipulate your poker opponents based on their perception of you and how they believe you percieve them. Successful use of table image involves multiple level thinking at its most complicated and generally less levels of thought in its simplest forms.
At its simplest, table image is about the image that you project to the players at your table and the images being projected back by them. At its most complicated, its about understanding the manipulation that occurs and reacting correctly to it.
In offline games, table image starts with your opponents sensual perception of you, like the types of clothing you have chosen to wear, your posture at the table aswell as your tableside manner, the comments you make, even how you smell. Your opponents will make their first impression of you based on these factors. Dressing more professionaly suggests to your opponent that you have come to take the game seriously, whilst dressing more casually suggest you are there primarily to have fun. If you are talking implied odds with the player seated next to you, the rest of the table are likely to suspect you're well read and know how to play, whereas if you are continuously asking the dealer what the denominations of the chips are worth and apologising for not knowing it is more likely your opponents will tag you as a rank amateur. Your opponents will use these first impressions and your betting patterns and frequency to determine what type of player you are.
In online poker, it's harder to make that first impression, if at all; your opponent can't see how you are dressed or detect nervousness in your voice as you raise out of position. Table image is derived from considerably less information in the online game, your opponents may choose to read your chat comments and be influenced by them, the more astute players will glean information from their opponents betting patterns and frequency of play. The more you can make your opponent believe your table image the more you can use it to your advantage, especially by making them think they are using it to their advantage.
Table Image StrategySome decisions are easy in poker, like when you are holding the nuts and are facing an all in bet from the only remaining player in the hand, but others can be incredibly complex and confusing to decipher, it can be useful to use an opponents table image to help you decide what to do, particularly in borderline situations. Seeing what an opponent played to a showdown can provide a clear indication of what type of player they are, at very minimum you should be watching the showdowns and evaluating them in relation to the betting patterns for that hand.
Creating a professional image can be counterproductive, sometimes the best way to keep weaker players at the table is by placing them into an environment that is friendly and chatty rather than intimidating.
Let the way a table is playing help decide which table image to use, if the table is playing tight then loosen up a little or vica versa; also understand that it is sometimes preferable to change the way you play based on specific opponents rather than the whole table, if you are sitting to the left of a maniac you can be a lot looser with your table image than if you were on their right.
Many >a href='/Pro+Poker+Players.htm'>pro poker players frown on giving away free information like showing your cards, but if it helps you to achieve a certain table image then it's acceptable; the problem with showing cards is all parties understand you chose to show them and may have done so to set them up later on. Alternatively, you can continue to keep bluffing without showing them until you get caught, some opponents may already suspect you of bluffing and will struggle to believe you have a hand once you have confirmed their initial suspicions.
Your image should'nt be too similar to your actual style of poker play, otherwise you are making it too easy for your opponents to predict your next moves; a more balanced approach could be to vary between playing styles while trying to represent an image, for example switching between tight and loose at random intervals whilst conveying a tight table image.
Table image becomes increasingly important as the table limits go up; not everyone will even be paying sufficient attention to your play in order to read your table image in a small stakes game, it is much more likely your opponents will be studying your every more at the higher limits, thereby making table images more important and potentially more profitable at the higher table limits.
Finally, don't go broke creating a table image for yourself, while it is very useful to be able to influence your opponents play, it is even more important to increase the size of your stack; a strong table image is nothing if you have no bankroll left to exploit it.
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