Poker Strategy: Reading Opponents Hands
By Loki Luchs of Predictem.com
Being a passionate poker player has taken a lot of the fun out of watching poker on television with my friends. It’s probably the way that a football player who retires feels when he’s watching ball with the boys on Sunday. I cringe every single time I hear someone babble on about “How could he not realize the guy’s got nothing? He’s obviously bluffing!” This is the same guy that bitches that Tom Brady didn’t hit a 60 yard triple covered receiver. Obvious? Really? What part of the play might have indicated that? Was it his facial ticks? His betting patterns? The verbal cues in his banter? Perhaps the fact that we can see the cards???
Reading an opponent’s hand is based on many different factors. Each opponent plays differently, depending on their personal styles and experiences. Furthermore, they’ll change their play depending on how long they’ve been at the table, whether they’re on their A game or D game, and what kind of a mood they’re in. The easiest way to understand how they play normally is to watch what their betting patterns are like; are they always throwing money in hand after hand, calling down? Is the player constantly bullying the table? Or are they afraid to touch their chips, because they might lose a hand if they don’t have a full house? Once you understand the four general styles of play, you can easily tell by their body language what kind of a mood they’re in! Are they berating players? Are they drinking heavily? Are they carefully stacking their chips? These small body tells go a long way in being able to know if an opponent is playing a solid game or starting to tilt.
THE MOST POKER FISH ONLINE CAN BE FOUND AT BOVADA POKER
Once you have a general understanding of how they play normally, as well as how they’re playing currently, then you start to have an idea of what kinds of hands they’re playing. In the beginning, you don’t need to know exactly what your opponent has; in order to be a winning player, you need to have an idea if they’re strong or weak. You’ve already got a bead on how they play the game psychologically, so you now have the advantage! If your opponent is a maniac who is bullying the table or on tilt, you can assume that on any given hand your medium strength hand is in the lead. Staggered flops that are bet hard will be big cashes for you. If the opponent almost never is in the hand without the nuts, then you want to avoid being against them without a good pot-odds to draw to a better hand!
When you see Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, or Sammy Farha calling their opponents hands, it’s because they’ve analyzed the hand psychologically, added in their information that they’ve collected from tells, and added up all of the pieces. Aside from the fact that ESPN doesn’t show the times that they’re wrong on a read, it’s important to realize that they’ve done these reads ten-thousand times. They can see the most likely hands that their opponents have. Big slick gets played pretty much the same way at a $2/4 table as it does at a $200/400 table. There are three ways to play aces (all of them are wrong). When the greats first started out, they found themselves getting only this general read of strength and won their early bankrolls on that alone. In the end, most players you face are not sophisticated enough to diversify their play on a constant basis. Get an understanding of your opponent and then follow your read.
Check out all the guaranteed tournaments, SnG's, satellites and qualifiers Bovada Poker has to offer! They are truly a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need in an online poker room!
Party Poker - The PartyPoker "Monthly Milion" plays on the 1st Sunday of every month. The tourney starts at 12:45EST. (Note: Party does not accept USA players)
Bovada Poker - Sign up, deposit and get an instant 10% bonus. Get a 100% bonus up to $500 which is released as you earn points. If done right, this could equate to a 110% bonus!
The Difference Between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em - Cash games, tournaments, no limit, pot limit, fixed limit and more. Loki breaks it down!!
Tilt - It's a classless way to play online poker, but this article is a good read if you'd like to learn how to put other players "on tilt."
Satellite Poker Tournaments - What are they? How do they work? Jason explains.
Famous Poker Players - Short bios about some of the greatest poker players ever to take a seat at the tables!
Female Poker Players - Biographies of all the best women poker players in the world.
Legends of the Game - Bio pages of legendary poker players, many of which have died and gone on to leave their mark on the poker world.
Poker Hall of Fame - Inductees along with their feats listed in chronological order.
Poker Players Alliance - This advocacy group is fighting for YOUR right to legally play online poker. Join today!
Home Poker Games - Everything you need to know about hosting your own game.
What is Rake? - This is how card rooms earn their money off of poker games. K. Swope talks about this fee in detail.
Perspectives Weekly - Check APCW.org's Jay Todd each week as he brings us all the current news in the online gambling industry.
Poker Quotes - Famous and funny poker sayings from around the internet.
Famous Poker Hands - Sure, you know that "AA" is often times dubbed "bullets" or "american airlines" but what about other hands such as "JJ" and "88"? Chad tells all!
Poker Questions - Burn cards, clubs, spaces, diamonds, hearts, the deck, community cards etc. You've got a question? We've got an answer!