Know your table image

table image

Table image refers to how your opponents view you at the table, and is something you will understand more and more as you learn to play. It is a good example of the psychology of poker, and is also an important part of poker strategy. By knowing your table image, you can adjust your play accordingly and create the best environment for yourself at the table.



It might be tempting to think that table image doesn’t apply to poker where you’re not physically sitting around a table with others. However, this is not the case. To give an example, let’s say you’ve been playing online for an hour at a table with opponents you’ve never played against before. In that time, you have played 50 hands.

While 50 hands isn’t a lot, it’s still enough for you to appreciate some of the other players’ ways. For example, it’s easy to see if a player is super aggressive and will control the game a lot by betting a lot and playing a lot of hands. It’s also possible to see if people are playing more dry, and only playing good hands.

To keep track of everything, many players use a poker head-up display (HUD), which can help keep track and profile all the players. This displays various things such as Voluntary Put Money In Pot/Pre-Flop Raise Percentage/Aggression Factor (VPIP/PFR/AF). With these stats, you can keep an eye on your opponents continuously and identify what type of player they are.

One of the most exciting things about table image and things like the use of a HUD, is how you can take advantage of it. If we go back to the example of the 50 hands and opponents you’ve never met before. These players won’t know about you, and if they use a HUD it won’t know about you either. In this situation, if you got bad cards out of the first 50 hands, you will most likely have folded a lot. To the other players and their HUDs, you will be seen as a tight player, even though it may not be your usual game.

In such a situation, it may be beneficial to use your table image to play more aggressively, and play hands you would normally fold. You can also try to bluff a little more and steal more blinds. Remember to do it in moderation, though. When you do it too much, your table image will change and players will change their game based on it as well.

Adjust your game

Adjust your game

Changing your game continuously according to the table image is called adjusting your game. You should constantly try to adjust your game according to the situation and how the other players view you. However, this can go wrong. For example, if the others think you are tight, you may try to bluff more. However, if you get caught in your bluffs, your image changes completely and the credibility you had will go. Here you have to adjust again. If you bluff a lot, your opponents will also call more often and on bigger bets. So once you have a good hand, you can also get good value out of it.

If you get good at adjusting your play, then it can be an incredibly good tool for your overall poker strategy. Tools like a HUD can help other players know your tendencies. If you manage to adjust your game enough on a regular basis, however, a HUD can become misleading and you can take advantage of that.

How much you can and should use your table image depends on your opponents and how observant they are. However, all players are observant in some way, so your table image is something you should always be aware of and have a plan for how you use in your strategy.

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