Applying Poker Tactics in a Negotiation

Interacting with other people is always like a poker game. Invariably someone has what someone else wants. Sex, money, food, shelter, and land have been the staples of disputes since the first two people happened across each other. The only difference today is that we try to be civil in our relations.

Society tries to mandate how this disparity of interest is resolved through contract laws, social customs and other contrived bridles to our human proclivity to take what we want. Learning to curb our enthusiasm for simply taking what we want is part of growing up. Those who achieve a reasonable state of adulthood are able to work within the confines of the society of which they are a part. The others struggle as criminals, sociopaths and, in general, those who put their needs ahead of those around them. They typically resort to lying, cheating and letting down those closest to him or her.

In the final analysis, it is the best poker player who will consistently fare better in the realm of human interaction - negotiations.

So learn the rules of the game.

• Knowing When and What to Bet

Knowing when to bet requires an understanding fo the game, an awareness of the value of the hand you are holding and the likely better hands around the table, and what betting will tell the other players.

Knowing what to bet is a developed art form as you learn from experience how the other players will react to low, high and moderate bets. Betting is a form of communication. Each bet signals something. What needs to be learned is what the player making the bet is trying to do; bluff, force you out, or lure you in. The other players should also be studying your betting patterns to better understand your patterns.

• Knowing When to Hold 'Em.

In an ideal world, one would only hold winning hands. The key is in understanding what a winning hand is. That takes knowledge of the game, the odds, and the other players. Luck starts and stops with the cards you are dealt. The rest of the game is a developed skill.

• Knowing When to Fold 'Em.

In poker statistically 80% of the hands one is dealt should be folded. Few players have the discipline to not try to improve what they are dealt by staying 'just one more round'. In fact, if players played by the numbers, the games would be relatively boring. It is the chance draw that lures people to gamble on drawing to an inside straight.

• Know When it is Not Your Night.

There are times when you should not be in the game. This can be because you are distracted, because your luck is running cold, or when you are consistently getting the second best hand. If you should not be at the table for any reason get up and leave before you leave your stake on the table. It is important to always have enough to buy into the next game.