Using Table Image In Texas Holdem

Every time you play poker, you should always be aware of the way your opponents are playing, and take note of how they have been playing in previous hands. This skill is vitally important, as the more you know about the way your opponents are playing, the better the decisions you can make when the action gets to you. However, another important factor to take into account is how your opponents perceive your particular style of play.

Having a good understanding of how your opponents view you as a player is equally as important as analysing the plays of everyone around you. Just as you base your decisions on the type of opponent you are playing against, the other players at the table will also be tailoring their actions based on the way you are playing. Therefore, if you can put yourself in your opponent’s position and consider how you are being perceived, it will add an extra edge to your ability to make the most profitable plays in Texas Holdem.

For example, lets say we have been sitting at one particular table for quite some time, and over a number of hands we having been playing quite aggressively and loosely. We have been frequently raising preflop, as well as putting in a number of continuation bets and bluffs on later betting rounds. The questions we have to ask ourselves are; how do my opponents perceive me as a player, and how will this affect their actions toward me?

If your opponents as particularly observant, they will notice that you are an aggressive player, and that you are likely to bet and raise with a wide range of hands. Consequently, they are far more likely to call you with mediocre holdings as they will be confident that you do not have as strong a hand as you represent by your betting. So if we know that our opponents are going to be playing like this against us, we can use our current table image to our advantage.

By instantly switching our play from being loose-aggressive and betting frequently to being more selective with the hands we are playing, we can start to extract some money from our opponents. Now that we know they will be calling our bets more frequently, we can start to only ever bet with stronger hands and make money from our opponents calling us with the belief that they have us beat. Eventually they will of course realise that we have changed our play, but we will still have ample opportunity to ride on their perception of our style of play.

Conversely, we can use our table image to our advantage when we are employing a tight style of play. If our opponents notice that we are only betting when we have the best of it, we can take advantage of this by betting more frequently, and picking off the occasional pot with a well-timed bluff. The key to using table image is to always be aware of how you are playing, and change your play accordingly to take advantage of it.

One key point that should be mentioned with table image is that you are relying on your opponents to take notice of your style of play for it to work effectively. For example, at the lower limits where there will be a number of amateur players, it is unlikely that they will be taking into account they way you are playing, as they are more than likely going to be more concerned with their own cards and the way they are playing. So don’t forget that your opponents should be playing at a decent level before you can utilize the ideas of table image, as a clueless opponent is not going to care about our table image.

In conclusion, you should remember to pay an equal amount of attention to your own playing style as you would to the playing styles of your opponents. It is not necessarily the key piece of Texas Holdem strategy that separates the winner from the losers, but it will certainly help to maximize your winnings from each session by exploiting the tendencies of your opponents. Its all well and good to know a lot about your opponents, but you are not going to get too far if you don’t know anything about your own play first


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