A Shark or a Fish – What Type of Poker Player Are You?

by Cole Paganelli | January 17, 2020 |

In case you didn’t figure it out, poker players love giving nicknames to basically everything related to the game. In one of our previous articles, we covered some card combinations and terms of endearment used for them.

However, poker lovers will not only name cards, but also people. The two terms that are often used in the poker community are a “shark” and a “fish.” Let’s take a look at what these mean and how to determine which type of player you are.

What Is A Shark?

A shark is a bloodthirsty animal, preying on little fish, and lurking from the depths to catch as many as it can. This is actually a perfect description of an experienced poker player who is able to understand the table dynamic very quickly and determine the best possible combination of bets.

Sharks are all very experienced and know how to strategize every hand so that they get the most out of it. They will not play poker for the sake of having fun. They play to win or go home, and it’s the only way they know how to play.

Another thing that earns you a nickname of shark is calmness. Sharks will never publicly display any frustration. In fact, they will turn their poker face mode on, and it would be really difficult to see what they think or feel.

What Is A Fish?

A fish is just an innocent creature wondering the shallow waters of the poker sea. Every so often, a fish finds a very interesting meal in the water that turns out to be a bait. Fish get caught that way, or they get eaten by a shark. You get the metaphor.

In other words, fish is used for either naive or inexperienced player. They will often communicate their tells in a hand or two. For an experienced player, poker fish is an open book. It’s very easy to read through them and know what type of cards they play in every occasion.

Poker sharks often know how to smell fish, especially the ones with a lot of money. Every now and then, a poker enthusiast with a lot of cash and not enough skill wants to play cash games. These are sharks’ favorites, as sharks can then profit on their lack of experience. These are big fish.

How to Switch From a Fish to a Shark

It’s only natural that you want to be a shark rather than a fish in this game. The first thing you need to do is to understand that poker is essentially a game of skill, much more than it is a game of chance. Once you understand that difference, you will be able to focus on the skill part and combine experience with studying in order to get to the shark level.

In other words, there’s no secret formula. Read good poker books and play enough poker to apply what you learnt, and you’ll get there.

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