Reading Your Opponents In Poker
Playing live poker at the casino last night reminded me about the huge role that live poker tells has in the game and how much it can tell you about the strength of your opponent’s hand. Reading the other players when playing at the casino is a crucial part of winning live poker.
Whenever you are playing live poker, if you are not playing your opponents and only your own two hole cards, then you would be burning money. The big advantage of playing at the casino is the ability to read your opponents. This information will help you make more informed decisions to ensure you will make fewer mistakes. If you sense your opponent to be weak, you know you have a better chance of pulling off a successful bluff, as it will be difficult for them to call with a medium strength hand.
On the other hand, if they are acting confident to suggest they have a strong hand, when quite often they can be doing it to represent a strong hand when bluffing. The inexperienced players at small stakes NL tables would be giving away poker tells without even realizing.
As an educated poker player, if you can manage to get a good read on your opponents, you will certainly make a killing at the low stakes NL cash game tables. Having the ability to get a read on a player becomes really important when you find yourself in marginal spots, as it can be difficult to know if you have the best hand, and the poker telll can be the difference between a bet/call/fold.
The reason that poker tells are such a large aspect of the game is because most players can not control their emotions at the poker table, so it can be quite obvious what the strength of their hand is.
One of the advantages of online poker is that you can get away with giving away physical tells. With poker online, even though you don’t have the advantage of seeing the player, you can take advantage of using a poker hud, which displays useful statistics for each player at the table. When these stats merge to form meaningful stats, they can tell you a lot about player tendencies, which can be really useful when you have a lot of history with a specific player.
For example, if you had a lot of history with a particular player, and you were to know their 3bet % stat is 7-8%. Since a tight 3bet range of JJ+/AK is like 3%, since your opponent’s bluffing frequency is more then double a tight range, you know they must be also 3betting light with less then premium hands, unless they were on a heater of good cards. However, once the sample size is big enough, the stats become more meaningful. Once the stat is meaningful, you can use the information to start playing back at the light 3bettor.
That is just one example of how you can use the poker hud to your advantage, but when with the lack of live tells in online poker, there is a lot to know from using a poker hud which tells you a lot about player tendencies and behaviours.
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