Many times, you must have got the feeling that you know what’s going to happen next, without knowing how you know it. This is called gut feeling or intuition. This intuition or hunch, as many like to call it, plays a major role in poker.
There are many poker players who are quite superstitious and believe that changing seats, wearing lucky charms, and playing a certain way can help them win. On the other hand, there are some who are able to sense the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents and play their moves accordingly. You will often hear these players saying “I knew he had nothing.” Whether they follow their intuition or calculate the moves based on the available evidence is still a huge point of debate.
You can read more here about the various comparisons between logic and intuition while playing poker.
What does science say?
Psychologists all around the world have taken a keen interest in the concept of intuition. Studies reveal that there are a great many things that our mind processes unconsciously. This helps drive the final decision making. Sometimes, the feelings in the body are caused by emotions, stimulating a poker player’s decision-making abilities.
Many poker players go with their intuition while playing a big hand.
Intuition coupled with reasoning
Expert poker players are capable of combining both logical reasoning and intuition to make the correct decision. Finding a well-balanced approach is the best for winning a poker game.
Combination of observation and intuition
When you make a decision by considering an analogy in your mind, it is called an analogical decision. The most interesting example of an analogical decision is this:
If a player scratched their ear while they bluffed on their last hand play, then the next time they scratch will probably mean that they’re bluffing again.
So, using your observation skill along with your gut feeling will help you increase your odds of winning.
Poker intuition vs mathematical calculation
Players who capitalise their intuition and refuse to perform mathematical calculations during their gameplay are better at reading other player’s cards and their minds to analyse their moves.
A degree in math is more of an obstacle when it comes to becoming a great poker player than a boon. Remember that the best poker players don’t hold a degree, as this game is a combination of luck, math and your gut feeling.
It is worth noting that many players use heuristics while playing poker. It is especially true while playing online, as there is intense pressure to play your move. So, your off-table analytical skills play a more important role in understanding the game at a deeper level.
Good and bad intuition
Our brains are capable of delivering mental shortcuts, which result in different outcomes.
Scientists have found that intuitive skills can be developed by creating a controlled atmosphere. An environment where events are too unpredictable and have various patterns can be helpful in learning the various intuition outcomes.
Science gives us a platform to evaluate logic and intuition. Our associative memory stores different patterns in situations where we have a good experience. These patterns take the shape of intuition, which guides us in making decisions in our daily routine or even while playing poker.
Logic and mathematical analysis are quite useful to know how to play. But, it will fail to deliver fruitful results every time you play. Remember that while playing poker, you don’t have access to a calculator or excel sheet. You have to listen to your gut feeling, which you receive from time to time while on the casino table.
A philosopher once described intuition as “the absence of logic, coupled with the truth.”
It is advised to rationalise the pitfalls of your intuition and avoid believing that your gut never lies. While visiting instant play casinos online, strike a balance between logic and your sixth sense to make your best move.
Remember that when thinking which one of the strategies is better, the simple answer will be neither. We have a well-trained brain, better than any world-class computer, and making a final judgment based on your instinct or logic will be a crazy thing to do. So, combining both reasoning and intuition together is the best way to increase your chances of winning at a poker table.