Can Intuition Help You Win At Poker?

Over several years, psychiatrists have studies how people make decisions that turn out just right while they do not even know how or why!
Even Doyle Brunson said in his book that there seemed to be a lot of subconscious information floating about at his poker tables, in Super/System. He often spent time wondering how some of these subconscious information just came to him, like for instance how his fellow players are going to play. And many of his fans and critics have commented on this paragraph in his book and inquired if he was really right and if so, how could that be? Why did that work?

It turns out that science has figured a lot about the topic, and Brunson was really right in his assumptions (as he mostly is at the table). However the topic is still a little too complex to be grasped:

The most commonly asked questions by players are:

What is intuition at the poker table anyway?

The easy answer to that is, it is this vague, largely unconscious feeling in your head, and it is like a hushed voice far away that is whispering something like “Muck them now”. This feeling is definitely hazy, fuzzy and curious. Players often get this inner voice saying “Come on! Re-raise that is a steal attempt” or “Call him he will check his turn”.

But also sometimes it comes up as “Oh shit that was a bad call” for other players. You take note of the message but it is difficult to understand where it came from. What in the world even triggered you to think so? While there are instances when you can later figure it out what it was that made you feel so, but not all the time and definitely not very easily.

So, it is my “sixth sense”?

Well, to be blunt about it – no, it isn’t. To begin with, your numbering is way off, we do not have just 6 senses we actually have 15. And secondly, the term “sixth sense” is often talked about like it is something paranormal or special borderline godly. But believe me when I say that it is not, intuition is plain old normal and everyone has it.

Then is it really my subconscious?

Bingo! It is your subconscious. Because our brains are really well trained to pick up patters from the world around us, but they do so out of our own self-awareness. A good example of this phenomenon is language itself. We all know or speak in some language or the other. At least a single language is spoken by everyone in the world. But the curious thing about this is the fact that the rules and order of words and the meanings of these words are quite complex. How did they all come to be? The answer to that is still unknown and linguists are having a hard time figuring that out.

But isn’t it strange that as mere children we all learnt these rules. Most of it was done without any conscious effort whatsoever. We simply picked the patterns up of the mother tongue spoken to us. And so this is the same way we gain intuitive knowledge be it in speaking a language or when we play poker online with friends.

Is it any good in decision-making?

Well, it is. But not completely! It cannot give 100 percent good decisions, it only provides us with “pretty good” decision making. To have perfection you need to have conscious control over your decision making. However, when you play poker online for fun it is a game of incomplete information and hence, the implicit system works fine for it.

Can I learn to use intuition in poker games?

Sure you can. But you will need lots of practice. Remember the system operates by detecting patterns and you really need to put in your hours to identify the most patterns. The more time you spend playing poker online the better will you develop sensitivity to the finer nuances and complexities of the game. While you will be hard-pressed to let people know exactly what or how you are learning, but you sure will.

Finally, remember to pay attention, players who focus well in the game and how other players are playing learn to intuitive faster.
Happy playing!

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