The Important Skill of Reading Hands in Poker
One of the key reasons why most poker players taste defeat at the poker tables is because they often play their hand differently from the way they would have played it if they only knew their opponent's hand.
This makes the ability of reading hands a must-have for every poker player as it allows players to play correctly more often by helping them not veer away from the right way of playing their hand. Playing correctly with their hands more often will also minimize their losses and maximize their gains in each poker game that they play.
So how does one read hands?
One way of reading hands is by considering some possible hands of opponents from which a more educated guess can be made by analyzing the relevant information about an opponent such as their style of play and the cards that they catch from each round. By putting these two bits of information which is their plays and the up cards, one can deduce the conclusion regarding the likely hand of an opponent.
A similar way of reading hands in poker is by doing it in reverse which is done through contrasting the opponents' later plays with their earlier plays.
These two ways of reading hands are effective but there will be several instances when players just could not zero in on their opponent's actual hands using the aforementioned techniques. Such instances call for the mathematical approach in reading hands where mathematics is used basically to determine the likeliest hand an opponent has through probability theories.
By using such theories, one can determine the chances of an opponent having particular hands. Determining these particular hands will let one decide which of the hands are beatable and which ones are not depending on one's own hand, which helps in avoiding unnecessary defeat in the face of an unbeatable hand from an opponent.
Considering the number of people involved in a pot is also an important factor in reading hands. Taking into consideration the betting behavior of opponents in relation to their position is an efficient way of looking into the possible values of their hand.
For instance, callers who are first in a rotation are not likely to be bluffing and it is most often the case that they actually do have decent hand values in their sleeves making overcalling against them a futile exercise.
Poker has always been a game of deception which makes it important to see through all the ruse put up by opponents. This makes skills like reading hands invaluable to players who are aiming to boost their playing efficiency by avoiding the mistake of falling for such trickeries thereby minimizing their losses and maximizing their gains.