Hammered & Stupid: How to Spot the Poker Table of Drunks

When it comes to action players there’s no easier prey than a drunk. Live casinos and online poker rooms always seem to have a few drunks floating around. They give off such a big edge to their opponents that’s it’s like a feeding frenzy at the table when a drunk is present. Alcohol clouds judgment and gives a player more bravado than they should have at a poker table. It’s worth your time and effort to seek out these players as much as you can, and the more of them you play against the higher your profits will be.

Spotting a drunk is different than spotting a novice player who’s making bad decisions. The player that’s had too much to drink will be far more aggressive pre-flop than any novice player will be. They’ll play way too many hands, often every hand, and will take big chances for all their chips on draws and top pair/weak kicker. They’ll also bluff at way too many pots and will often re-load time after time if they get busted.

One can take the time to look in on tables to try and find intoxicated players. It can be time consuming and you’ll still miss many of them unless you watch the action for an extended amount of time. An easier way to locate them is to take into account the time zones that the players are playing in. It’s easy to find out where the players are from, that info is often displayed without even having to watch the table to find out. If you’ve located a table with multiple players from a time zone that is after 1 or 2 am, your chances of finding an intoxicated player will improve greatly.

Playing against a drunk player is like playing a combination of a predictable novice player and an aggressive maniac style player. The good thing is that both of these players can be beaten the same way, by making sure you have good cards and letting them bet into you until it’s your last turn to play, and then raising them back. Not only will they dump chips into you but they’ll often call a raise on the river because they give their hand too much value. And the more you can make your behavior look like a bluff, the more action you’ll get from the curious drunken opponent who thinks everyone is trying to push him around.

An intoxicated player can also be talked into re-loading again and again. After they get busted all one has to do is to make a comment on how they have no more money to play at this level, and that they should go play elsewhere. Their inflated ego keeps telling them that they will win it back, and they keep buying in over and over, increasing their aggression along the way. This cycle repeats itself over and over until the player goes broke or stops playing.