Your intuition can play a powerful role in the game of poker. For our purposes, intuition can be defined as an “inner guidance system” or an “inner knowing”. Have you ever had a gut feeling about something and later found out you were right? Have you ever ignored a hunch and later regretted it? This is more common than most people believe.
Think of your intuition as an inner radar that picks up “signals” from your environment, and then translates those clues into thoughts, feelings and “hunches” in your body and mind. What kind of “signals” are we talking about? Most often they are visual and auditory information that your conscious mind doesn’t notice, but your subconscious mind does.
For example, have you ever taken a strong dislike to a person you just met? You probably couldn’t put your finger on it, but something about them didn’t sit right with you and you felt repelled by them. Later you may have found out that the person was a thief, liar, or worse. Your intuition was right on the money, even if you didn’t know why! More than likely, this person probably gave away their true nature by the way they talked, refused to meet your eyes, or other subtle clues. Even if you weren’t consciously aware of them, your intuition sent you a message: “Don’t trust this person.”
This same process can be used in poker.
As you play poker (or do anything else) your subconsicous mind is busy processing various forms of input from your environment. In the background, your mind is assessing the clues and information and coming to conclusions about them. For example, you might not consciously notice that one player seems to be holding his cards tightly, or closer to his chest – but your subconscious mind picks up on the subtle visual clue and you get the feeling that he has a good hand. Knowing (or suspecting) that would probably influence how you play out the rest of the round, right?
If you train yourself to consciously tune into signals like these, you can use them to your advantage.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by first getting into the habit of clearing your mind through simple meditation. Believe it or not, simply clearing your mind of scattered thoughts and mental chatter instantly makes you more receptive to intuitive insights. Not only will you recognize them more easily, you will understand their underlying message more quickly too!
Then, when you feel like you are receiving an intuitive hunch, learn to trust it. One common mistake people make is trying to back up the feeling with logical reasoning, but that never works. Most often your intuition is sending signals about clues that reside beyond your conscious level of awareness, so you won’t be able to back them up in any satisfactory way. Simply learn to TRUST your intuitive insights, and you’ll be pleased to note that they are right more often than they are wrong!
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