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Poker attracts different players with different abilities. When you are at a poker table, being able to determine the playing proficiency of each player can be of help.

Identifying a poor poker player can allow you to come up with a strategy to defeat them. These are the markers you can use to identify a poor poker player and turn the game in your favor.

If these tips feel too close to home, it might mean that you’re also a bad poker player and you need to improve your game.

They Play Out of Position

After a couple of plays on a poker table, you can point out a poor player at a poker table. A poor player seems to forget their position and play out of turn. When you spot this, you can isolate them and go for the kill.

Slow To Understand Numbers

While poker doesn’t require special mathematical skills, some level of calculation skills is required in poker.

Poor players struggle with the calculation of blinds and cash flow during tournaments and cash games.

Lack of Discipline

Poor poker players are always trigger-happy to play a hand no matter how unwise and impractical it might be. Poor poker players lack the discipline to make correct calls and once you can spot this, you can easily read their games and beat them.


Professional poker players have the ability to stay patient and level-headed all through the game. Poor players tend to be less patient and they don’t play the game with an eye on the prize.

Poor players on the other hand are eager and anxious to become masters of the game without the requisite experience. They tend to aim for games that are above their level and skill set, hence surrendering themselves for easy exploitation from better players.

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They Have A Big Ego

Bad poker players often lack the self-awareness to recognize that they are not as good as they think. Bad players have a hard time accepting defeat and they tend to discredit their opponents when they lose.

Professional players understand the element of luck in the game hence they acknowledge when they get lucky and they never underestimate their opponents.

Bad poker players struggle to let go of their pride hence they are easily driven by emotions. When you see a player who refuses to acknowledge that the opponent is better when the opponent is clearly better, such a player has a big ego, and they are easily controlled by their emotions.

Refusing To Fold

Knowing when to fold is something every good player knows. Poor players don’t seem to know when to stop defending their blind.

Poor players often exaggerate the quality of hands they have and insist on doubling down when they should be folding.

Passive Plays

Poor players often stake low even when they have an advantage that might encourage them to go higher. Their lack of confidence and aggression means they will keep making tiny bets until they lose all their money.

Fixated On Top Pairs

Poor players often exaggerate the value of the big one-pair hands and are reluctant to entertain the thought that someone at the table might have a better hand.

They are married to good hands and they hold on to it without any consideration of what might be in the opponent’s hand.

Poor players with good hands will often refuse to fold under pressure and they will keep re-raising till they lose their chips. 

Showing Their Losing Hands

Poor Poker Players are always eager to show their cards after they lose. Showing their hands will give you a view into the way they play which will help you adjust your strategy.

This is because poor poker players are oftentimes looking for validations from other players. The more a player explains why they lost or shows you the losing hand, it’s likely that they are a poor player.

Explaining Why They Lost

It’s common for poor players to attempt to supply a reason for their defeat. They tend to believe that their loss doesn’t stem from the quality of their opponent. Instead, they blame it on luck and their mistake. Hence, they find it hard to learn from better players.

One Tabling

For online poker, poor players are more likely to play one game at a time, hence they open only one tab. Beginners can’t play multiple games at once as it might be tough for them to follow the game.

Final Thoughts

When you watch your opponent closely, you will be able to spot their weaknesses. Poor poker players make different mistakes ranging from the poor calculation, playing out of turn, lack of patience, indiscipline, passive play, and refusal to fold.

If you’re a good poker player you will be able to easily identify poor poker players and deploy the appropriate strategy to overpower them.