Gambling has become one of the most popular pastimes in the world, especially with the advent of online casinos. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that lures millions of people with the chance to score the big win or a championship title. Anyone can get in on the action, but statistically only a very few ever make it to the top echelon of winners. What separates the sharks from the minnows in gambling?

The most successful players know that luck and skill only get you so far in the game. It is important to have self-control and focus. The most important asset of any player is his mind and his understanding of psychology. One must understand how the mind works, especially in the context of gambling. Just as important as reading another person's state of mind is the ability to read one's own.

It might help to pretend that you are an impartial observer of the game, without a stake in the outcome of each hand. Observe yourself as you would any other player. Use your observations to benefit your gameplay. Use the weaknesses of others to your own benefit. You can even project the aura that you choose. Pretending to be excited or agitated, betting erratically and engaging in nervous chatter could convince other players that you are on-tilt. Similarly, you could play your hands tightly, projecting conservatism and hesitancy. Keeping others off-balance will help you be in control of the table. Just don't forget that others may be using similar strategies against you!

Key to winning consistently is the ability to absorb a bad beat without going on tilt. Sure, it sucks for you when your opponent makes his belly buster straight on the river, but the next hand has entirely new odds; it has absolutely nothing to do with the previous hand. You must remain an impartial observer and keep your inner calm. The money is still in play and you can win it back, but only if you don't allow your emotions to drive you to make mistakes. Consider that the guy who just took that pile from you is feeling cocky now. He may think you are off your game and feeling insecure. Let him think that, but the very fact that you know this about him and what he thinks he knows about you can be used to your advantage.

Whether playing a table in Vegas or a virtual game in an online casino, you may use psychology to improve your gameplay. It is very important to know about odds and statistics to be an excellent player, but the best players also incorporate psychology to win consistently, even when the odds are against them.

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