How to Use Your Opponent's Weaknesses to Master All Poker Variations
In his book The Art of War, Sun Tzu said: "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles" – and that's exactly the right state of mind that will get you a win as you experiment with all types of poker variations.
Learning online poker strategies is not enough to help you master poker. You also need to be able to get into your opponent's head and predict his moves. But how can you figure out your opponents' poker strategies? That's right: pay attention to their gambling habits. Now is your chance to learn which habits you should detect at a moment's notice as you play poker online!
4 Online Poker Habits That Are Actually Good Tells
There are four gambling patterns you should always be on the lookout for, as they can help you get the upper hand on your opponents:
- Checking the river – Have you ever encountered a scenario where a poker player raises the stakes on the flop and turn - but decides to check the river? You must have seen that happen at least once. The question is, what does it say about your opponent?
Let's take a closer look at this particular situation. When a player gets decent hole cards, he'll probably wait for the flop before making further decisions. And as the flop and turn increase his chances of creating a strong hand, the player in question is bound to feel confident, thus adding cash to the pot.
But when the river doesn't reveal a card that elevates the value of his hand, he might check. That's when you should go all in: a player that checks the river probably doesn't have the strongest hand, and you should take advantage of that.
- Check-raising on every turn – Many poker pros use the check-raise strategy to try and grow the pot before they reveal their strong hands. By checking at the beginning of the game, they want you to believe they have a mediocre hand, but once you add cash to the pot – they wipe you out. If a player uses the check-raise strategy too often, don't play along! Fold if your hand isn't strong enough, and only stay in the game if you can afford it.
- Folding on the flop – If a player flops too often on the flop, one thing is clear: he is a very tight and careful player. That means he won't play weak hands and only stay in the game if he believes he has a good chance of winning. So, if you encounter such a player, take into account that if he stays in the game – he has a strong hand, and you shouldn't take unnecessary risks…unless your hand is better.
- Calling, calling, raising – Another gambling pattern that can tell you a lot about your opponent is the call-call-raise move. Like the check-raise strategy, this move is designed to convince you that your opponent has a mediocre hand at best, but once you reach the river – they will reveal the strength of their hand.
So, if players use this strategy once, know that you have to be cautious around them. There is no knowing what kind of hand they really have, so don't let them lure you into placing big bets if your chances of winning are slim!
Any gambling habit your opponent might have can be used to your advantage. If you pay attention to everyone's moves and figure out which players repeat the same poker patterns over and over again, figure out how to make the most of it!