How to Read Your Opponents Like a Book -One of poker’s stars, Daniel Negreanu, says he doesn’t play the cards, instead he plays the player. This would imply that the ‘tells’ of poker players are primary to his strategy. This is a gross over-simplification, as anyone who has watched him constantly chatter about what cards he thinks the other players have. That means he really is focused on the pot odds of his opponents making a hand, as compared to what he has. Once he has that figured out, then he can focus on signs that might lead him whether they actually have the hand or if they are bluffing. He is pretty good at that, and as a result has made a substantial living playing poker.If you have watched a poker tournament you have seen many players wearing sunglasses, hats, and hooded sweatshirts to conceal their faces and eyes. That is because signs like a bulging vein in the neck from an elevated heart rate or widening eyes, were easily discernible signs that something big had occurred. There are however may other signs that might give you a read on your opponents’ hands, that are still visible, even in online poker.
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One of the best ways to find ‘tells’ is to pay attention to the habits of the players during multiple hands. Instead of watching the crowds go by in a live situation, or checking email in an online environment, observe the others especially when you are not in the hand. This is the best time because you do not have to spend any mental energy on your hand, and the players in the hand are not concerned with you.Things to look for include: how fast do they react to the play Poker Online of their opponents? If they are very quick when they have a hand, and slow when their hand is weak, then you have a good clue for later. This even works online because sites offer a check box to call, and if checked the call will happen instantly. This means they had their mind made up before you acted.Another hint is to keep some informal (in your head if live or scratch pad if online) stats on how often a player goes at least to the Flop versus folding. If they fold a lot, look out! This likely means they are playing quality hands and will get a reputation as a solid player. This will give their bets credibility, and allows them to bluff occasionally and get away with it. If they seem to play nearly every pot, then they will soon be separated from their money.
Beginning players often do the opposite of what they should, letting the good players know they are a ‘fish’. Instead of folding the weak hands and betting the good ones early (not monster hands), they do the reverse.Something else to consider, is a method to reducing the chance of an inadvertent ‘tell’. In every sport, the best players have a routine. Whether it’s free-throws in basketball or pre-shot in golf, the players do it so their motions become consistent and predictable. I think one of the best at this in poker is Chris Ferguson. No matter what cards he gets QQ Online or what his opponents say or do, he always does the same thing. He looks at his cards, he folds his hands in a contemplative manner, and takes his time evaluating the situation before he acts. This leaves no clues as to the strength of his hand, as you never see him say “Call” or “Raise” a nanosecond after the raise of the player ahead of him.If you want to get the edge that comes from reading other players’ ‘tells’ in poker, then create your own routine, and use it every time. Be observant of the play of others, especially when you are not in the hand, and play quality hands only.