How to play against a fish in poker

In poker it is common to talk about fish, fishes, but newcomers to the poker world may not understand what we are talking about. What is a fish in poker? Who are the famous fishes?

A fish in poker is a bad player, a little fish that is taken advantage of by the sharks, the most experienced players. As if it were an ecosystem, a fish without poker cannot be understood because they are part of its food base. They are the ones that allow the money to move, the bets to flow, the jackpots to be won and the experienced players to see their technique rewarded.

There is a well-known and very true saying that if in the first thirty minutes you have not identified the fish, you are the fish. Beware, because experienced players can catch you in a moment and will try to take advantage of you as soon as they have the opportunity.

Nowadays, the expertness that the poker world has undergone has made it more difficult to obtain succulent prizes, since the number of fishes has been significantly reduced. There are still fishes, but they are harder to find.

If there are no fishes, it means that there are more expert players and, therefore, it will not be so easy to find a table where there are rookies and where it is easy to win the pot. But let's go step by step.

What is a fish in poker

If you don't know what a fish in poker is, you should soon know it because it is the basic concept that every poker fan should handle. "Fish" in poker is nothing more than a nickname, a nickname used to label inexperienced players at the tables. Sharks, a nickname used to designate experienced players, are able to identify fishes in a short time, since they usually give themselves away with small body and behavioral details.

For example, a fish in poker tends to be too talkative, or to linger over the moves, or to talk to the dealer. For many players, especially those with a more serious character, if you asked them what a fish in poker is, they would answer that they are sloppy players, arrogant charlatans who like to show off but do not know how to play poker properly. And they are right, although not all of them are really like that.

And the fact is that a fish in poker is usually a player who talks a lot, who is entertained by the dealer, who makes very exaggerated raises and who handles the chips incorrectly. As soon as they get some confidence, they are usually a little bit foul, you can see they are cocky, somewhat pretentious and they try to play every hand, something that gives them away immediately. In addition, the less experienced ones are even rude with the dealer or with the rest of the players, something that is unacceptable at a poker table.

Poker Fish VS Donkey: differences


Poker lingo is very specific and uses very specific terms to refer to profiles, moves or actions that take place during a poker game. To refer to inexperienced or novice players, two terms are usually used, "fish" and "donkey", although in reality they have little to do with each other and refer to very different types of players.

A fish in poker is a beginner player who, due to his lack of experience, makes mistakes and who is being trained in order to stop being a novice. All players have been there, since no one is born a poker pro.

On the other hand, a donkey is simply a bad player. One who, apart from having little experience, does not know how to play well what little he knows. They are players very linked to ups and downs, to change their style of play. Precisely because of their style they are irritating for experienced players, and some have even lost their nerves with this kind of clumsy and meddlesome players.

Although we have talked about the importance of not extinguishing the fish, poker does not need donkeys, since they are not essential players to maintain the balance at the tables. Donkeys are annoying, real experts in testing the patience of the calmest player. If you find one at the table, don't lose your temper and try to take advantage of the situation. In the course of the game, he always gets in range a few times, and you don't even realize it.

What if we were to compare the two players head-to-head in an epic poker duel: fish vs. donkey? The novice player vs. the clumsy one. Both have aspects in common, such as their inexperience or their impulsiveness, only that the former can end up becoming a good poker player, while the latter is unlikely to achieve it.

If we were to compare their techniques in poker, fish vs. donkey would be a duel in which the donkey would have everything to lose. And we say this because a fish in poker does not play blind: he knows what he is doing, although he obviously does not know everything and that is why it is very likely that he will end up being fleeced if he is at a table full of sharks.

In contrast, it is common for a donkey to think that all players are bluffing, that they have nothing. They don't even understand why you might raise during the preflop. They give themselves away and are ideal to take advantage and increase your bankroll, so get your boots on.

How to play against a fish in poker

Meeting a fish at a poker table is something that attracts many players, although it is advisable to follow a specific technique to take full advantage of its presence. It is easy to spot a fish in poker because at the tables where they are usually there are many multiple pots. This happens because there are a lot of desperate players eager to get every penny out of the fish.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most used strategies and the one that gives the best results when there is a fish at the table. In addition, it acts as a signal to indicate to other players who are looking for a table that there is a fish that they can take advantage of.

This, for example, is also an indication of the type of player that populates the table. For example, at poker tables where there are inexplicable moves, but they are surrounded by players taking a look around, you might find an epic poker rookie duel: a fish vs. donkey, fish vs. donkey. A rookie showdown that acts as a lure for the sharks, who smell blood and are waiting for their prey to be torn to pieces to try to join the table and get even more money out of them.

You may encounter an overly aggressive fish. It's rare, but they do happen. In these cases, try to pass some time with strong poker hands to hook the fish and other players. You can make, for example, a check and call move if the bet is too big, although to define a hand or isolate yourself against the fish it will be necessary to check and raise. There are times, as with double pairs, when it is better to isolate yourself from the fish. It is necessary to study the game of the fish and detect his impulsivity (which he will surely have) at the right time to try to find out what kind of fish he is.

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