Today I want to talk about table image. Table image is something that’s very important and it’s oftentimes overlooked and some people use it in very, very incorrect spots. So I want to talk about it a little bit today. To get started, let’s define what table image is.
Table image is really how the other players at the table would classify your play style, your strengths and your weaknesses. So if you’re playing against other players that are thinking, it’s very important to understand what they think of you, right? Just like you’re constantly thinking of them and then adjusting to that information, other players are doing the same thing to you.
But who cares about table image? Well, I kind of hinted to it a moment ago, but the worse a player is, the less they care about table image. The better they are, the more they’re focused on hand reading and building your player profile. So just like you’re focused on thinking about them, thinking about what they’re likely playing here, thinking about what they’re likely doing this with, and trying to think about are they likely to be bluffing a lot, are they likely to be very nitty and passive, other good players are the table are doing the same thing to you.
Once you can understand what they think about you, then you can start adjusting your play to make more profit because you’re going to be abusing what they think about you and the tendencies that they think that you have, whether correctly or incorrectly so.
To make this a little easier to visualize, I wanted to share one of the key ways that I use this to my advantage. This is with lighter 3betting.
Say that my image at a table is seen as tight and straightforward. At some tables I will be, at others, not so much, but let’s assume that that’s what’s going on at that specific table.
When someone thinks that I’m tighter, and they’re a confident player, then I’m looking to bluff them more often. Because they think that my 3bets are going to be nutted, that I’m probably only going to be using queens plus AK or maybe even tighter for some reason, and, thus, I can turn more hands into profitable bluffs against them, because if I’m 3betting them when they’re like, “Wait, I don’t want to give him action with this hand or that hand,” or, “I don’t really want to give him action with AJ or KQ,” great. That means they’re probably going to be folding it, which is fantastic.
If they’re going to fold everything from TT+ and AQ+, then you should be 3betting them whenever they open with 18% or more hands. That’s a very, very easy thing you can do. It’s also very easy to identify if someone’s opening 20% or more of hands. It’s not too difficult if you’re paying a little bit of attention.
So, again, we’re looking for someone who views us as tight and straightforward because we think that when we 3bet, that they’re going to want to fold more often, that they’re not going to want to give action with more marginal hands. If that’s the case, you should be looking to bluff them with impunity because they’re simply folding too often.
This is a very easy adjustment and very, very profitable as well. You can make a lot of outright profit when you’re looking for this situation in realtime.
The name of the game here is adjusting when thinking about what they think about us. Then we’re adjusting our strategy to do the opposite. If they view us as being really loose, they’re probably not going to fold to us very often, and, thus, we can value bet thinner. If we are playing really, really tight, they’re probably not going to want to give our aggression action. Great. We adjust by bluffing more often.
Good players overall will adjust their view of your play style over time. So in the previous example, if you are constantly 3betting every single time that they open, they’re going to notice and they’re going to say, “Wait, wait, wait. He’s not as tight as I thought he was. He’s actually quite loose,” and then how are they going to adjust from there? That’s on you to then pay attention to your activity levels, to your perceived image and your history against regs.
Remember, people are much more willing to remember situations where you aggressed against them specifically. If you keep harping on one specific player, well, chances are they’re going to remember that. It’s on you to be one step ahead to adjust to how they’re likely to adjust to you.
This is just one simple way that I use table image to my advantage. There’s actually multiple more that I share in this free chapter from my new book called Unfolding Poker. The chapter is called How to Use Your Table Image to Your Advantage.
So there’s three more, one where you’re viewed as tight, and, two, where you’re viewed as loose. I would definitely suggest checking them out, so that way you can get a really well-rounded view of how to use your table image to your advantage.
To get the free chapter, just go to splitsuit.com/chapter19. Download it, listen to it, and start putting it to use in your next session. And, finally, I’d like to that my sponsor for this book, Unfolding Poker, BBO Poker Tables. If you’re looking for a fully customized table, one that fully suits exactly who you are and the home game you’re trying to run, this is exactly where you want to start. Start designing your dream table today at bbopokertables.com and make sure to use the code SPLITSUIT at checkout for a free gift.
And that’s going to wrap it up for this video. Thank you so much for tuning in. Hopefully this gets you started on table image, but, again, make sure to download the full chapter, give it a listen and see how you can really put this whole thing to use.