Fear and Anxiety are the enemy
Poker is all about how well you maintain your expressions and appearances. Both of these factors combined may result in the success or the failure of the hand. There are people who play the hand extremely confidently just in order to make other think twice before making a move. This confidence at times results in discouraging other players. The game of poker has a close linkage with the element of human psychology, especially when someone calls a bluff at the table. At times fear and anxiety combined also make weak players call for bluffs during a hand.
Some players claim that they can catch other person’s anxiety who has been sucked into a reasonable bluff call. Some people use the oldest instincts of human psyche i.e. fear and anxiety and use them as their weapon. In an anxious condition, people tend to lose their calm and collectiveness and hence their thinking process gets wayward. As a result the player is unable to make a good decision which one needs so much at the poker table. Most new poker players or say less experienced players often give up their calmness in such stress situations and falter due to immense pressure. The main reason can be the high amount of stakes involved into each hand. Like other poker strategies, there are many ways by which a player can intimidate the opponent during the hand.
The most basic form of intimidation used by players is the element of “reputation” and “personal image”. Many players with both these elements would try to use both the elements in order to establish fear in the opponents mind, and make him or her falter due to stress. This technique may be short lived and the opponent quickly realizes it, but is effective most of the time. This technique involves constant raising and calling during the hand is being played even when your cards are not paired or suited. Projecting yourself through your game as an aggressive player, can make opponent unconfident in their decision making. The physical presence of a player may also lead someone to “figure” you out wrongly.
When intimidation is to be carried out for a long term, reputation or record of a player counts a lot. This involves what other players have heard of your style of game and what they themselves have learned through experience. For instance a player who is known to play extremely cautiously can go all guns blazing and amaze the opponents with the exaggerated aggression. This helps in getting other players falter due to your aggression.
Human psychology helps a lot in deciding which strategies should be employed at the table. Many theorists believe that players who know their SWOT, they capitalize on their strengths and don’t expose their weaknesses to their opponents. Thus understanding one’s own self is extremely important before the game as only such a person is probably able to deal with high levels of stress during the hands.