Are You a Poker Fish OR a Shark? Big Stack Poker University

What differentiates sharks from fishes at poker? They both play their hands. They both have basic poker knowledge. They both aim to win. Despite the similarities, sharks always defeat the fishes.

The only reason is how they play the game. Are you wondering if you are a fish or a shark at poker?

Here are some points that can help you analyze your game and decide if you are a fish or a shark–

Are You Paying Attention?


Most of the amateur players usually think that paying attention to their game is what poker requires. They pay attention to themselves and their game. They worry about their hands and how they should use them.

However, when we talk about pro players, the case is totally different with them. They know the importance of paying attention to others. While they are observing their cards, they are also attentive towards what is happening on the table. They notice your betting patterns. They have a grasping attitude towards everything that is happening at the game.

Can You Control Your Emotions?


Fishes usually start losing their emotional control when the game starts going against them. Sometimes they start tapping their feet or start talking to their opponents about their poor cards. While they are tilting, their opponents are thinking about how to drag them down.

On the other hand, expert players have good control over their emotions. They do not let the bad beats affect them.  They are usually calm and poised even when they have a poor hand. They know that tilting while playing can even worsen their situation.

Do You Know When To Stop?


Every poker player plays to win. But, knowing when to stop playing is something that differentiates a shark from a fish. Fishes do not know when they should stop betting their money. Even when they have poor hands, they keep betting and raising rather than folding.

Talking about sharks, the case is totally different. They know when to stop. They are eager to win just like the fishes but they know the time when playing further will just mean losing more. Instead of playing bad hands and losing the money, they opt to fold.

Are You Aggressive While Playing?

Fishes are the poker players who are usually passive with their game. They wait to get strong cards to win. Their only way to win pots is by getting strong hands and winning at the showdown.


However, sharks have this quality of playing aggressive poker. They are just looking for opportunities to eat their opponents. They play with both weak hands and strong hands. When they have weak hands, they know how to make their opponents fold. Their aggressive way of playing poker is what makes the other players fear most about them.


Do You Know When to Bluff?

In poker, you can have a variety of hands. Strong hands help you win but when you get a weak hand that is when your poker techniques are being tested. Bluffing your opponent is usually helpful in such situations. Fishes usually do not know when and how to bluff. They over bluff and make other players suspicious of them.


However, how a shark responds to the same situation are the skills any player needs. They know how to bluff their opponents that forces them to fold their cards. When you are against them you cannot really know if they have strong hands or weak hands. Bluffing at the right moment is what their skills include.


Are You Evaluating Your Poker Table?

Not a lot of poker players give any serious attention to their poker tables. Fishes are one of them. They believe that their skills and luck are going to help them win the game. They cannot identify weak players on a poker table and end up being one themselves.


But, sharks very well know how important it is to evaluate the poker table that they are going to play on. They know that skills help them winning but having weak players opposite them will make their task simple. They always opt to play on a table where more fishes are playing.


Is Poker Your Passion?

Your interest in the game also defines if you are a fish or a shark. Most players are just fascinated with the lifestyle that poker comes with. They want to play merely to earn which thus makes them desperate to win. They don’t have adequate knowledge but they want to play because they want to win. If you have this view towards poker, sooner or later, you will turn out to be a fish at poker.

poker passion

Sharks, on the other hand, play the game for their passion. Poker is in their heads wherever they go. Even when they are not playing it, they are improving their skills by some or the other means. They read books; take online coaching, watch movies, etc., all for their passion for the game.

These were some of the basic traits to identify if your current way of playing poker is that of a fish or a shark.

All these above-listed points will help you get a clearer idea of your poker.  Also, note that no single point can give you clarity about your game. Say, you evaluate your poker tables but do not have other required poker skills; you cannot then say that you are a shark now.

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