Reading your opponent is probably the most critical aspect of poker alongside defending yourself from being read. Generally, the game itself includes a lot of subtle rules and specifics which alone could occupy your mind throughout the game. However, simultaneously you also need to be observant of everything else happening around you in the game. Now performing two tasks at the same time with equal level of priority takes a lot of practice and maturity in playing. Although, when we speak of reading the opponent, there are certain textbook tricks. Following which you will find yourself at a rather comfortable position, even in tight games.
Essentials to keep in mind while reading your opponent
There are a lot of details to keep in mind when you are trying to read your opponent. From facial expression and body language to betting behavior -mixing all the right components into your equation, you will be able to figure what your opponent is up to.
First of all, always remember that you will never fair well when you play a match with highly experienced players around the table. A critical determinant behind your win will be the game you select. You must always select a game where you have a comfortably bigger edge over your opponents. Now in such a game you will always find it easier to read your opponents.
Your opponents will give away hints, majorly in two ways -betting patterns and physical behavior. Betting patterns will always be your major tells. Observe your opponent over multiple games, and keep a mental note of the betting he does the hand it follows. Additionally when you are playing online poker on websites such as 99onlinepoker, queenpoker99 and such, the betting patterns will be your only indicator of opponent’s tells. Keep special focus on how they buy in, how they handle their chips, and so on.
Finally comes the physical behavior. Now this could be quite tricky. Guessing physical tells is a very abstract concept. Small details like shaking hands, a glimpse of excitement shining in the eye, lip smacking, impatient betting and such give away some hint or the other. Now reading these signs could get treacherous at times. For e.g, in normal senses one would interpret lip smacking to hint at some confusion. However, some people do have habitual tendency to smack their lips from time to time. The fact that you will be reading into gestures of an individual without personally knowing that person, your chances of accuracy won’t always be good. End of the day you will need practice at it.