It’s easy to make assumptions playing poker and many players have many different pre-determined assumptions when they sit down at a table that only harm their game. Good players are able to recognize these assumptions and overcome them. Here is a list of the most common ones.
The Assumption that every other player is an idiot.
It’s not uncommon for great poker players to sit down at a poker table already assuming that they are the best player at the table, this can be a good thing too as it provides them with the confidence to make reads, plays, calls and folds that weaker players would not.
However there is a huge difference between believing that you are the best player at the table and believing that all of the other players are bad players.
No matter what stake level you play at there are always going to be some good players, it just so happens that there are more of them at the higher stakes tables. If you automatically assume that everyone else at the table is a bad player and hold no respect for them, then it can lead to you making terrible plays.
The Assumption that other players are rational players.
It is a big mistake to assume that everyone plays like you. Many of the poker players in online poker rooms wouldn’t have the faintest clue what pot-odds or fold equity are and will constantly make terrible plays – raising when they should check, playing when they should fold.
Especially at the lower limit tables there are going to be plenty of irrational poker players that play on instince and really have no idea what they’re doing. The trick is to pick out these players (which shouldn’t be too hard) and use that knowledge to your advantage. Let them call rediculous amounts when they have poor hands and their stack will become yours in no time.
The Assumption that you have a table image.
When playing poker at a live situation players will observe the other players with a microscope, looking into their eyes, looking at their plays – going over their game with a fine toothpick. However in online poker people are far more distracted and not observant of others playing style. Some players are multi-tabling and some are doing other things at the same time.
The point is that generally people aren’t going to be watching you that closely. Don’t assume that just because you have played extremally tightly and folded 15 hands in a row that you can make a play at a pot with nothing in your hand and get away with it because of your image. Most people wont have even realized how tightly you’ve played so this is a horrible assumption to make.
The Assumption that nobody else is paying attention to what you do.
On the other hand from the previous assumption don’t assume that nobody is paying any attention to your game. Sure there will be many players out there that will ignore how you are and have played but that doesn’t mean there still wont be some keen poker players examining your game – and usually these are the players that you need to watch out for the most.
The Assumption that you can avoid variance.
No matter how good at poker you are, you will never be able to avoid variance. Even the best poker players in the world go through bad patches. The key to this is simple – play withing your bankroll and stick to it.
Playing outside of your bankroll is one of the quickest ways to send your roll bankrupt.
To summarize, just always remember that when you are joining a poker table you should avoid assumptions at all cost – they can really harm your game.