Poker Players, Poker Stakes, and Communication
Poker stakes are either the betting range or the amount of the buy-in to a game. If the buy-in is, say, $100, it would not be fair to the others in the game if a player bought in with $200. A lot of poker players here at Juicy Stakes like to play at low stakes whether or not they hope to advance someday to a higher stake poker level.
Communication is a Key Element in Poker
Poker players try to communicate through their bets. Sometimes they communicate by not betting. In many situations in poker, a player is actually trying to miscommunicate. This is usually called bluffing. It can also be an attempt to make an opponent think you have a poor to middling hand while you really have a strong hand.
At Juicy Stakes, we communicate through our promotions, tournaments, and articles. We never miscommunicate!
Communication is Key in Many Areas of Life
Let’s take a look at how we communicate and what, if anything, a new poker player can learn from real-life communication. We will look at ways to not communicate, things we should not do if we want to communicate well. Then we will look at some positive aspects of good communication, things that are positive to do.
We will look to see what we can learn from either the do side of communication or the don’t side of communication.
In real life, avoiding situations is the action of a non-leader. Colleagues will identify an avoider as someone who should be passed up for promotion. If the boss promotes his or her son or daughter or niece or nephew and the person promoted is an avoider, it could signal to others that now is the time to look for another company to work for!
In poker, avoidance can be folding even in late position. It is common to fold anything but a powerhouse hand in early position but it is also common to stay in a hand in late position, especially if you are the big blind.
In online poker at Juicy Stakes, opponents can learn important facts about each other by what and how they communicate. Avoidance in online poker is powerful communication and one that we should avoid.
Frequent folding will communicate to opponents that this player can be bluffed out of a winning hand because he or she would rather fold if “given the chance”.
In business or politics this is the “hemming and hawing” default position. In a business meeting, if a colleague asks a pertinent question and someone is ambivalent in answering, that signals that the company has someone in high-level meetings who doesn’t belong there.
It is often better to have a reasoned position, even if it is proven wrong, than to be ambivalent.
In poker, ambivalence is clearly demonstrated by limping in. Now, in poker, everyone limps in at some time or another. Frequent limping in is a sign that the player doesn’t know what he is doing and is ripe for a bluff.
Here at Juicy Stakes, we know that a sure sign that a player is not ready to move up to a higher stakes level is his or her ambivalence. This negative trait does not come through easily online so when others do feel it, it is very strong.
Correct Competitiveness is a Learned Skill
So, the advice here is to try not to be overly or overtly competitive. Over-competitiveness will come off as arrogant. The player will be seen as a sarcastic person, using sarcasm to try to intimidate an opponent.
If a player is in a low-stakes game, sarcasm might work but if there are players at the table who have played a few hundred hands and have seen sarcasm and competitiveness as intimidation tactics before, they will fail big time.
Generalizing about an Opponent
There is a world-class poker player, who shall remain nameless, who uses every tactic in the book to denigrate opponents. Making sweeping generalizations about an opponent shows is a sure sign of an immature player.
In the case of the unnamed superstar who uses such tactics on amateur opponents, thinking that he is immature makes no difference; he is too good to be negatively impacted by being seen as immature.
However, a much less skilled player will cause others to want to beat them. Players might be incentivized to stay in a hand just to give the immature player his or her comeuppance.
What Can a Poker Player Learn from Good Communication Skills?
We hope that this part of the conversation will make for a lot more pleasant reading.
This is not at all the same as being cocky or self-centered. In a business situation, it is simply the ability to show confidence in one’s position, even if that position is not adopted at the meeting.
In poker, in a situation where you want to call in early position, demonstrating confidence will at the very least give the opponents who bet after you the feeling that you might have a good starting hand.
Being determined also gives a positive impression of your hand in later rounds of betting. This is the exact opposite of the cases in the section above where we said that some negative communication traits might make the player a ripe candidate for a great bluff that causes him or her to fold a winning hand.
Being determined in betting will go a long way to making it possible for you to win a bluff!
Choosing when to voice a contrary position is a master communication skill in the competitive world of business.
Timing is also a prime mover in poker. When we bluff at the right time, we can win pots that we would lose otherwise. Timing is the fine art of knowing when it is time and when it is not time.
There are so many decisions to make in poker. New players often fall into a rut of betting with good cards and folding with borderline or poor cards. Timing means making the other players at the table think that you have more to your game than just following the book.
This goes hand in hand with maturity and staying calm even when your emotions are running amok. In business, we stay positive even when our idea is rejected. We stay positive even when the company is doing poorly in its marketplace. We stay positive even when we have decided to leave the company and look for greener pastures.
In poker, this skill is of vital importance because everyone will suffer a bad beat at one time or another. If we react to a bad beat like our unnamed superstar we referenced above, our game will not progress. He can react like a baby at a bad beat but the average player needs to stay calm.
Staying calm after a bad beat will communicate the powerful message to one’s opponents that here is a player who will get right back on the horse!
Respect the Evidence
Every action a person takes in poker is evidence. There is a big difference between the evidence and the truth since the truth in poker is hidden until the showdown.
The evidence might indicate truth or be a misleading fact. This applies to many real-life situations. If a person cuts you off on the road, it might mean that the driver is a new driver and doesn’t yet know what he or she is doing. It might mean that a man’s wife is in labor and needs to get to the hospital asap. It could also mean that the driver is just a really bad driver.
Respect the Evidence of Juicy Stakes Poker
Here at Juicy Stakes, we try to give our players as much insight into poker as we can. One thing that we try to communicate with players, especially new players, regularly is that there is a lot of evidence in poker and the interpretation of that evidence is a learned skill.