How to play poker sober in a sea of drunken players

How to play poker sober in a sea of drunken players

Playing poker while staying sober is challenging, especially for inebriated opponents their drunken tells become harder to read, their betting makes less sense, and their table talk distracting. However, staying sober at the poker table does have some key advantages you maximize your win rate.

Know your opponents

The first key is to know which players at the table are drunk and how the alcohol impacts their play. Watch them closely in the early hands to identify who is drinking heavily vs. just casually. Take note of how the inebriated players bet differently compared to when they were sober. Are they playing more hands? Getting out of line with bluffs? Paying off too lightly? Or are they playing tighter and less aggressively? Build a profile on each opponent so you exploit their drunken tendencies. Against loose-passive drunken opponents, you want to play tight and aggressive poker. Only play premium hands, but bet and raise them strongly for value. Drunken passive players will call you down light, so you extract plenty of chips when you have a big hand. Avoid fancy plays and stick to a solid ABC poker strategy. Bet for value when you have it, but don’t bluff drunk players off good hands. 

Many drunk opponents will spew chips with frequent bluffs and overly aggressiveqiuqiu onlinebets. They want action and will attack any signs of weakness. When facing a raise from a drunk bluffer, be prepared to call them downlight. You don’t need a premium hand to continue against their relentless aggression. Even a second pair or ace-high be good enough to win a bloated pot against an intoxicated bluffer.

Avoid trash talking

Drunken table talk and banter be distracting if you engage. Don’t try to match table talk or join in. Politely ignore their antics and focus on your game plan. Getting caught up in drunken conversations will only disrupt your concentration and strategy. Stay cool, calm, and collected at all times. Inebriated players will often lose focus and impatience creep in. They play on tilt more easily and sit still for long periods. Use their antsiness against them by going into the tank before big decisions, even when you know what to do. Your extra thinking time tilts them even more while also improving your decision-making process.

Book bigger wins

When you hit a monster’s hand, get paid off by the intoxicated villains. Bet bigger for value and keep the pressure on. Don’t slow play big hands in the hopes of check-raising. Bet relentlessly for maximum value and book those bigger pots. While they guzzle booze and beer, you sip water and soft drinks. Staying hydrated keeps your mind sharp and focused during long poker sessions. Dehydration leads to headaches, fatigue, and mental mistakes. Drink plenty of water and take bathroom breaks to splash cold water on your face. Hydration is key.