Poker table image is simply how a player comes off towards other players. Many players fail to use their images to their advantage.
Who has a poker table image?
All professional poker players have images. For example Dan Harrington is tight and Gus Hansen is loose. However, they do not stay with a specific style throughout an entire tournament. They have the skill to change up their game without an opponent realizing.
Phil Helmuth is known for playing very aggressively; but it is more often the case that he has the best hand and just posturing as an aggressive player. This ability of imitating a loose or aggressive player gives him a significant advantage over his adversaries. Gus Hansen plays almost any two cards, however; a good deal of the time he is playing premium hands.
How to use table image to your advantage
If you are a loose player than make sure your opponent knows it. When you actually get a premium hand play it the same way. Doing this will confuse the other players.
If you are a tight player use it to your advantage. Let your opponents think you have picked up a quality hand by betting pre-flop. If you win the blinds be happy and if you are called don’t be discouraged. Following up on the flop with a bet will make it tough for a good player to call. If the flop comes big (ace, king, ten for example) they will most likely assume that you have hit and fold. If it comes low and your sub par hand hits it is even better, they will put you on an even larger hand, or nothing.
How the pros are doing it
Aggressive players must use their poker image to their advantage. Being aggressive angers your opponents. In most cases being aggressive pays off. When you actually pick up a hand your opponents will be so frustrated by previous play that they will play stubborn. By playing stubborn I mean that a player will be tired of folding their mediocre hands and call. Play your hand the same way: bet, bet, and bet again.
How you should use table image
Showing your cards is good in some situations and bad in others. Most online poker rooms give players the option to show or muck. Use this feature to your advantage.
Always muck the winning hand. If you’ve got the nuts make them pay to see it. Showing the winning hand just gives free information to your opponents. It gives the confidence to know they made the correct play and actually makes their play stronger. Not showing ones hand confuses the others and makes them question their own play.
Show your bluffs sometimes
Show the bluff. Their is nothing more demoralizing then showing someone that they folded the best hand. More often than not it puts a player on tilt. They question every play they make. When up against the same player again he or she will believe that you are attempting to bluff once again and when you turn over the nuts nothing makes them angrier.
Table image in a live game
In a live game the ability to show only one card can sometimes be used to your advantage. Showing a deuce and mucking your other card can often confuse your opponent. However, players often catch on quick to this style and going back to mucking your cards is recommended.
After reading this article you should be able to maintain and manipulate your poker table image.