Reading Your Opponents in Poker

A very valuable skill to learn in poker is learning how to read your opponents. This will give you an advantage and allow you to manipulate your opponents so you can get what you want. There is more to reading your opponents than figuring out whether or not they are bluffing.

Patterns

The first thing you will want to look for is patterns that specific players get into, such as betting and raising patterns with specific cards. You will notice that when they have certain types of hands, they will raise big or limp into the pot. This is valuable information because you will know the type of hand they have when they raise or bet a certain way. As an example, one opponent may only raise big when they are holding a high pocket pair.

Calling

You will also notice that players will call with certain hands or will fold with other types of hands, and when you have this information, you can utilize it to manipulate those players. For instance, if a player typically calls or stands with a semi-premium hand, but you know you have a premium hand, you can assume that you will win the pot over that particular player.

Benefits

When you are able to read your opponents, you will have an advantage on them because you will typically know whether your hand is better or worse. Just remember that your opponents have the ability to read you as well, so diversify your game and keep them on their toes. Never assume that your reading techniques are 100%; some players will outright trick you in order to get ahead.

Reading your opponents is a skill that comes with experience and time spent playing the game. You need to invest that time in order to pick up the necessary skills to become great at poker.