How to read hands and the action in Texas Hold’em

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Posted on: June 16, 2020 5:58 pm EDT

Understanding your opponents is a major key to success in poker

One of the most difficult skills to learn in Texas Hold’em is hand reading; it can be similar to putting together a puzzle. This skill requires a good deal of effectively using context clues and making educated guesses; this is the best way to put your opponent on specific range of cards. To become a talented hand reader, you will need to work on the theory and practice a lot if you want to be able to have an edge on your opponents, but you also need to know how to read the action properly.

There is always a point during a poker hand in which hand reading happens naturally. What’s important to define if that reading will help you make or break a decision. For instance, deciding when to c-bet can be easily decided upon hand reading; however, it is not really going to help you lose or make a lot of money.

On the other hand, if you are preparing for a major bluff and shove in your stack, the success depends directly on how precise your readings are. Sometimes it looks like a player can magically read the opponent’s hand, but it is just a matter of trial and error during constant practice what made a player get there.

Regarding the action in hand, if you analyze this part along with the hand then you are close to getting a sound read. The action in hand contains information that you already know and that is freely given to you. How much a player raises and what position they are on are important factors to consider when reading the hand. Even though the information from the action is more general, it can be matched up with the hand reading you made for better precision.