More poker hands and bigger pots? Reading your opponents’ betting behaviors, as well as a component of the card, can help you achieve your goal.
Analyzing your opponent’s betting behavior and finding patterns is one of the most accurate clues or “telling” you can get about a player. All poker players have a range of possible behaviors but most good players will change the way they play situs poker.
It is extremely important to classify each player at your table based on what categories they are playing and how they play. You can break these categories into four dimensions: toughness, looseness, aggressiveness and knowledge.
A player’s tightness tells you their minimum hand for entering a pot. You can get a good idea of how to keep track of their needs by staying in the pot and what kind of hands they have at the showdown. A tight poker player may only play one of five hands and you should expect them to start strong hole cards. These players are sometimes referred to as rocks. They usually play passively, opt to check and call rather than bet, raise or check-raise. If you have the attention of the players in the game, you will be able to spot the rock at your table. They rarely bluff, so if you raise one of these players and you don’t have anything near the nuts, you’ll save money by mucking your hand. A good “tell” is a tight player who is both neat and conservative in both dress and actions. How they arrange their chips and hold their cards are reliable indicators of their frame of mind.
A loose poker player is easy to detect because they almost always see the flop and then still play, and their hands are beaten. More than likely, this person is a beginner or recreational player. This group is also known as the calling station. They will play too many poker hands but they won’t play them strong. They have the miracle card to look for the river until they stay. These types of players are the ones who inflict the worst bad beats on the cards they play and the fact they run down the river. Others look for inattentiveness and talk too much. Also, watch for shaking hands, rapid breathing and mannerism changes when they have a good hand article on Poker Tells.
The aggressive player bets marginal hands strongly in early rounds and raises or check-raises in later rounds. These are the maniacs at the table. They crave action and will play at every opportunity at betting and raising many hands. This is the player you want to be sitting on your right so you can fold your weaker hands when they go into action. The problem with a maniac is that you never know if their hand is weak or strong. These players will cause the biggest fluctuation in your bankroll. They’re also some of your biggest wins. An aggressive poker player will have the actor at the table with their exaggerated playing style, multiple expressions and deceptiveness. This is when you should decide if it’s an act or not.
A knowledgeable player is a force to be reckoned with. This is a very important game for the other players’ understanding of the game. This type of player is about selective hands when they play but when they do, they play them aggressively. The knowledgeable player is good enough to disguise their possible holdings and therefore keep guessing their opponents. The advanced players develop their image and make plays based on other players’ perceptions of them. They watch and tell their opponents. They work hard to eliminate their own actions that might give away information about their hands. A knowledgeable poker player mixes their pattern of play. They have a strategy, a game plan and a discipline to stick to. If this is not you, then the knowledgeable player should be your goal. This is the type of player you want to be.
One of the key skills most good poker players have is the ability to read their opponents at the table. “Poker tells.” You may not be able to find the exact hand of a player, but you can get a general idea about the types of hands they play. You are not involved in a handheld table.