What is ‘Solid’?
The term solid is used in poker to refer to someone who is a solid player. If a player is described as being solid, they are being described as somebody who is very good at poker. Solid players tend to be poker professionals or players with a lot of casino experience. They have spent years perfecting their techniques thanks to countless hours spent at the poker table. Usually, the last type of opponent an amateur player wants to see at the table is a solid player, because they know that they’re going up against someone with a wealth of experience, which will make it incredibly difficult for them to win and may expose them to big losses.
Although there is no set criteria for what makes a solid player, it is generally agreed that in order to be considered ‘solid’ a player will have to master the fundamental elements of casino games. This starts with the player being good at mathematics. For a player to gain a solid reputation, they are going to have to know about the probabilities that are involved with poker. Solid players know that they have a 1 in 8.5 chance that they’ll hit a set if they’re holding a pair, they’ll also know that their chances are 1 in 3 of managing to complete a flopped flush draw when the river comes around. There are countless probabilities involved in poker, and being able to know them all requires very good mathematics skills.
The second element is being able to maintain discipline. When it comes to poker, being able to keep your emotions in check is paramount, so you can expect a solid player to keep their cool even in extreme situations. If a player is particularly good, they will use their experience and know that different games may require a different discipline. They will also know when is a good time to play, and when it’s better to walk away.
A deep level of understanding is also required, a solid player will need to be able to effectively judge the risk vs reward levels of each and every hand. That way they can ensure they never expose themselves to unnecessary risk if the reward doesn’t call for it. Experienced players will also understand the psychology involved with poker, not only do they need to figure out what cards their opponents have, but they need to know what their opponents think they have. A solid player is able to turn a losing hand into a winning one simply by applying techniques such as playing slowly or more quickly, as well as bluffing to manipulate the odds in their favour.