If you want to win big in poker, go after the “fish“. This is one of the oldest strategies to become a profitable player. So if you’ve already gained enough experience in playing the game, you would know that a fish in poker terms refers to recreational players and beginners who aren’t at the same skill level as you are.
Fish players are your weak opponents who lack the knowledge and experience, and would usually account for a huge amount of your potential winnings — that is if you know how to spot them and take advantage of their poor gameplay.
If you’re up against the “fish“, your chances of winning are high since the advantage is on you being the better and more-experienced player. So how do you spot the fish players, and how can you exploit their weakness? Take note of these signs:
- Not Clear On The Rules
- They Are Inconsistent
- Not Sure When To Play
- Fish Players Show Their Losing Hands
Be vigilant of the first hands of the game as they usually set the direction of your play. Take note of your opponents’ initial responses, and how they look – do they look comfortable and confident, or do they seem unsure of themselves?
If a player manifests the latter, then he or she might be a beginner. Usually, they commit mistakes with the blinds, simply because they don’t know the rules. They also get it wrong when it comes to which hands are superior.
While it is wise to change strategies once in a while to avoid being predictable, the experienced players know that they must stick to a certain strategy that works in their favor. The fish players know nothing about that.
Their inconsistencies are mainly due to their lack of knowledge and experience. And this shows in their bet amounts, and the way they play similar hands. After winning, they tend to be more aggressive, and then become the opposite when they lose.
This is one of the most visible signs of being a beginner. Playing out of turn also applies to the experienced players especially if they become pre-occupied with their strategy and reading their opponents, but if someone frequently fails to realize the action is on them, chances are, they are new to poker.
If you observe an opponent showing this behavior, then you better make him or her your target.
Most beginners are not aware that is not always required to show their losing hands for their opponents to see.
Also be watchful about players who consistently check and call rather than raise, a practice commonly referred to as “limping“.
Pay attention to these signs and see if you can make the most out of the fish at the table.