Reading the Hands of Your Opponents in Texas Hold’em Poker

A good poker player can guess from the behaviour of his opponents the cards that they are holding. The secret of many professional poker players is the ability to guess their opponent cards in combination with a mathematical and statistical model. The most important rule, when you try to read your opponents cards is just to focus on the open cards.

The knowledge about the open cards you have to combine with the knowledge of the actions of your opponent. When did he raised or called? The most information about the future behaviour of your opponent you can learn from his behaviour in previous hands. Was he bluffing regularly? How can you recognize his bluffs? How is he acting with a strong hand, how is he acting with a weak hand? A perfect observation of all of your opponents during the game will help you to guess their pocket cards. If you know how your opponent is acting, you can combine it with the open cards and find out why he was acting in a certain way. What are his actions telling you about the strength of his hand? With which cards on your hand, you would make the same move that he performed?

Poker is a game of statistics and therefore most normal players in most situations stick to certain mathematical rules. All players want to win money, so most players will also stick to the most save strategies in the game. You can use this general pattern of behaviour to determine the most likely cards of your opponents. Even if you cannot guess the pocket hands, all these facts give you a hint of the most likely strength of their cards in comparison to your cards and you can build your strategy on this.

The easiest way to determine the hands of all players is to recall their moves backwards. The latest decisions give you the most information since the most cards are open and the other players can value their own hands better. In general, the most important decisions in Texas Hold’em Poker are made in the beginning. So when you know the result of the actions, you need to go back to the beginning and try to match your opponents’ behaviour to his possible cards. A player in an early position will more likely throw a bad pocket hand than a small or big blind players. By this you can see whether they hold a strong or a weak hand.

If you want to compare different hands you need to start studying the statistics of Texas Hold’em Poker – which card combinations has which possibility. By applying some simple mathematical tricks, you will be able to reduce the possible hands of your opponent and have more knowledge about him. If you don’t want to study the mathematics of pokers, you simply have a huge disadvantage because most of your opponents have studied it intensively.

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