Having a knowledge of psychology can be very advantageous for those seeking to influence the behavior of others. Understanding how the human mind works allows us to evaluate the behaviors of others and understand what intentions or feelings are behind them. Likewise, knowing why people act in a way according to the circumstances and how that is interpreted by others will allow you to modify your behavior appropriately.
All of this theory can also be applied during a poker game. Whether in the games online or in traditional casino tournaments, players can use tactics to mislead their rivals and, for example, make them think that you are about to lose when you are not. This knowledge of psychology will also allow you to analyze the behavior of the other players, but you have to be careful, because surely they also have it.
The key role of neuropsychology
To win at poker, it is not enough to be lucky and good at calculating statistics. You also have to have a good base of psychology knowledge, since these will help you in two key aspects: first, they will make you understand the motivations of your rivals and you can anticipate their movements; second and more important, it will give you the keys to understand how your own mind works and control aspects such as concentration and patience.
Not knowing how to manage your own emotions can play a very bad trick on you. Achieving that level of emotional control takes a lot of practice, and having a healthy mind and body is vital. Only those who master temperance and know how to face their own ghosts even on the table will be able to win at poker on their own merit. Later we will see different strategies to prepare psychologically before an important game.
Before that, however, it is important to emphasize that knowing how psychology works, as we said before, will also allow you to analyze your opponents. We have all heard the phrase “poker face” and you have seen that many players choose to wear sunglasses to hide the expression in their eyes. However, there are physiological elements such as sweat or body movement that can help you understand what is in that rival hand.
How to behave during a poker game
A good way to prepare for a game of poker is through positive visualization, that is, facing it with a winning attitude. The opposite could turn against you. The “anchoring” technique suggests repeating a gesture when something is going well and using it in times of stress to remind the brain that everything will be fine. Cheating yourself can serve to hide real emotions and thus also confuse the opponent in front.
We have already referred to the concept of body language. Knowing how it works will help you to analyze others, but also to understand what aspects of your own behavior to control. It is difficult to generalize and you should study each of your opponents separately. They say that the feet are the part of our body that first reacts to a threat. Keep them still. You should also avoid touching your back and keep breathing slow, without speeding up.
Obviously, poker and gambling are not the only sector in which knowing these techniques can be an advantage. Think, for example, of commercials, who should know, with a single glance, where there is a sales opportunity. Those who work in front of the public must also have good control of their own psychology to deal with difficult clients.
And of course the teachers and professors, whose knowledge of psychology and behavior can be key to detect when a student may be having a bad time at home or if they have a problem with their relationship with the rest of the classmates. It is especially necessary in those students with special needs.
What is at risk and what psychology solves
Both professional players and lovers they have a lot to lose during a game of poker. Money, mainly. And that should already be sufficient motivation to incorporate psychology into the process of preparing for a competition or tournament. Having these mind-based tactics and strategies can help you win the game, but above all, they will prevent you from making a wrong analysis of the game and ending up ruining yourself.
Remember, then, that it is just as important to know your rivals as it is to know yourself. No two opponents are the same, so “waste” time studying how each of them behaves in the face of a difficult move or a losing game. Take your time also to see how you react in these types of situations and use therapy if necessary to learn to control your emotions even in moments of most tension.