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Important tips on Reading Hands

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Reading Hands of your rivals

Reading the hands of your rival is very important. It is both an art as well as science. However, it is difficult to learn the skill that combines logic and intuition. But for learning this, you need experience to make all that work. Just more and more experience is required.

As you gain experience, your consistent thought processes will come together more quickly. With some experience, you will be able to make more accurate guess about your rivals' hands. Your guess, intuition is nothing more than your subconscious collecting information and applying it to your conscious mind as strong feelings. Some of them call this process, “getting the feel for the game.” Don't be dependent on them until your experience tells you that they are loyal.

Reading the hands of your rivals is difficult without knowledge. The two are interconnected. Different rivals play differently in the same situation.

It is easier to read good players because they are in the pot with stronger hands (hands of significant value) than weak players who could be in with almost anything. Thus, realize that it will be easier to read your rivals at the $5-$10 and $10-$20 medium limits than at the low limits such as $1-$4. This is the reason why it is easier to beat the medium limits than the low limits – another way to develop your skills and improve to higher limits.

The best and appropriate time to study your rivals is when you are not playing in a hand and nor financially or emotionally involved. Concentrate to the poker game and observe each and every factor relating to the game. Study your rivals while they are playing – and while they are not playing. Then you will have a basis for comparison when you have identified a tell.

The correct time to read on what hands and cards your rival will start with at third-street is after the hand is over – at seventh street , i.e. the showdown. At this point you will have an opportunity to see his entire hand.

When he gets his last, facedown card, watch to see where places it among his other two down-cards. If it goes on top of the other two cards and it stays there, his two starting cards will be on the top when it turns over the three cards at the showdown. If he places it on the bottom and it stays there, the reverse is true. If he places it in the middle between the other two down-cards and it stays there, the two outside cards will have been among his starting cards. If he shuffles the three together, you can't use this method but you can tell, logically.

For example, if your rival has raised on the third street showing a four, you can logically consider that he didn't raise with a split pair of fours. But you want to know what he did raise with. At the showdown, he turns over two queens and a six. You can assume that he logically started with two queens in the hole with his four upcard and not a queen and a six in the hole with his four up.

If a player makes a flush with exactly five of his seven cards and if three of his suit is turned over at the showdown, you know that he is inclined to stay and pay to the end with a drawing hand.

Listen while you concentrate on the hand not yet shown. The dealer announced the first hand turned over. Listen for that, as you watch the other player's hand. If he sees that he is beaten, he is very likely to fold his cards without showing it. But he might unintentionally flash the hand or show quickly to a neighbor and you may get little to see. Then you can turn your eyes to the winning hand, which will still be laying there.

When a new player sits in a game, you will also want to get all of the information about him as quickly as you can. Start observing immediately. What does he do with his chips after he buys in? A player who puts his chips in a sort of stacked and sort of not stacked, is generally a loose player with no planning, no consistency, just playing.

The player who stacks his chips very perfectly is more likely to be a conservative player. He has a plan for playing, rather than playing randomly. He is a consistent player and play with some kind of strategy. It will be easier to ascertain his strategy than that of the player who has no plan. If he doesn't know what he's doing, how are you going to identify it?

Also note when he does the neat-stacking of his chips. He will do it while he is out of a hand. But that means that while he is busy stacking his chips, he isn't observing the other player.

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