No, this is not about reading palms to predict the future. It is about reading your opponent and the strength of his hole cards.
Hand reading is about narrowing down the range of hands an opponent may be holding against you. If you can improve your hand reading ability, you will become a better poker player.
And not for just the obvious reason–if he has a better hand than me, I fold. If not, I raise.
Why Hand Reading Is So Important
If you’ve ever watched Daniel Negreanu on TV, you’ll notice that he always is thinking about what cards his opponent holds. Now, this is very important! He is not simply doing that to compare the strength of his hand against his opponent. He is doing that because on the flop he plays his opponent’s hand.
Daniel wins more than his fair share of tournaments because on the flop he is thinking about his opponent’s cards. And if he has a good idea of what his opponent is holding, he can use the community cards to take away the pot.
If his opponent raises under the gun with a standard 3x big blind raise, and that player is tight, Daniel will be thinking “big hand.” Daniel is on the button with 5-4 suited. He looks at his opponent and sees he has a big stack. Daniel wants to win that stack. He calls not because he has a better hand. He calls because of the implied odds.
Now, the flop comes 7-9-10 with 2 suited cards, but not of Daniel’s suit. His opponent bets 3/4ths of the pot. What should Daniel do?
Daniel has nothing but air. He figures his opponent has a big pocket pair or A-K. But he calls!
He calls the bet because if the flush card, a 6,8 or J hits the turn, he can take away the pot with the right sized bet on the turn. Especially if his opponent is weak, tight. He will actually win this pot with 5 high!
Oh yeah, sometimes Daniel flops to his suited connectors and wins with the best hand.
Hand Reading Exercises
The purpose of these exercises is to become a better poker player. If you haven’t been winning or getting to the final table in MTT’s, it is time to get out of your comfort zone.
Note: You will lose your money in some of these exercises, so select lower limits. However, don’t let the blind levels be so low that no one ever folds to a raise pre-flop.
1. Play a low blind, limit poker cash game and raise every hand pre-flop.
This will put you in tough situations in every hand you play. Everyone at the table will be playing against you. And you will need to be at your best to win any hand.
2. Watch a table of limit or no-limit poker for an hour and read hands.
What hands do these players have in this hand? What are the bets telling you they have? Try this exercise while watching online poker พุชชี่888.
3. Player mapping.
Have you ever written down notes about players. Start taking notes. Which opponents are tight, aggressive, loose, weak. How do they play their hands on the flop, turn, and river? How often do they bluff. You can try this online.
You will become a better poker player if you get better at reading hands-guaranteed!
Mitchell Cogert is the author of “Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves.” It is the only reference book to reveal the plays the Pros use to win a poker tournament. These plays are based on reviewing 20 years worth of tournament poker strategies and by actual play against Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, David Pham and other top pros. The book is highly rated with 5 out of 5 stars on amazon.