15 Nov

Poker Philosophies: Make Use of Dead Time

How to make the most of dead time in live poker games.

How to make the most of dead time in live poker games.Poker is the most intricate of all betting amusements. There are many delicate skill sets that one can acquire; so many more than any other form of gambling. This is why the greatest players of all time agree—Texas Hold’em takes only moments to learn, but a lifetime to master.

Today, we’ll be talking about one of those intricate little poker philosophies. It’s something a lot of beginners, and even some intermediate players, may fail to recognize. But it’s a critical component, and one that you should have extremely easy access to. I’m talking about the dreaded…

Dead Time in Live Poker Games

Dead time is the amount of time a player spends not playing the game. Every time you fold pre-flop, and the hand continues without you, this is dead time. If you’re managing your starting hands properly, you should be experiencing a lot more dead time than live action.

It’s the abundance of dead time that causes so many players to make terrible decisions. They get bored. They don’t want to sit around watching others lose and gain chips. They want to be doing something productive. What so many fail to realize is that dead time can be the most productive time of all!

Many of today’s top pros actually play a smaller range of hands early on just to gain more dead time, because it’s the easiest time to pick apart their opponents. If you aren’t paying attention to others when they’re in their zone, you’ll find it much harder to catch on to their…

Poker Tells and Behavioral Patterns

There are two basic ways to read an opponent. Poker tells are the easiest. They are something all less experienced poker players, and even stressed out veterans, tend to do. Learning what poker tells to look for in your opponents is one thing. But it won’t do you any good if you don’t actually take the time to spot them along the way.

Behavioral patterns are the more suggestive of the two. These are things that a single player does repetitiously in certain situations, usually without even knowing it. Maybe it’s a facial expression, a hand gesture, or a shift in body language. It could be a bet size, or the way they place their chips in the pot.

Dead time is the perfect time to pick your opponents apart, learn to read their behavior, and label their hand range based on that behavior. Like most poker strategies, effective observation is something that gets easier over time. The more you practice it, the faster you’ll be able to read other players. But early on, it can take quite a while to link each player to a ‘cause and effect‘.

So, the next time you think about popping your ear buds in, or scrolling social media on your phone, think again. Don’t let such a perfect opportunity slip through your fingers. Even if you think you’ve got everyone at the table figured out, you can take satisfaction in correctly predicting their actions and motives. Before you know it, you may be able to play a wider range of hands, simply because you know what your opponents are, and are not, capable of.

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