Poker is probably the most exciting table game. You not only play with your cards but also with your mind. Every move and every movement on the table matters to secure a hand.
Seasoned players have assessed numerous games to find some common betting patterns. You can learn a lot about opponents if you can recognize their betting patterns. This move will improve your skills and guide you to make better decision during the game.
So, let’s find out how to read betting patterns in poker.
Learn to Read:
You must own two important skills of empathy and observation if you want to read the opponent. Open up your mind and pay attention to the smallest details to be a good observer.
How to understand your opponent?
You won’t hesitate and make the right move if you understand what your opponent is doing and why! It takes several years to understand each opponent’s feeling and assess his moves. You can practice these things regularly at home to hone your ability to understand people better.
Ask the following questions to yourself in the beginning to understand your opponent:
- Is your opponent an experienced gambler?
- What is his level of thinking?
- Is your opponent capable of making tactical decisions in-between hands?
You will know answers after a few hands. It’s quite easy to spot a newbie and a player who is on the table just for fun.
Start noticing betting patterns:
Put on your headphones to listen to everything the opponent talks. An experienced player would certainly use some poker slangs or poker lingo. It’s a hint for you to be cautious.
Try to reveal how much time the opponent has spent on the table. Learn how successful he has been during the last session. Once you know everything, now you can assess the opponent’s betting patterns in the following situations:
- How does your opponent play pre-flop? Does he get active only with strong hands?
- Does your opponent fold/check after missing the flop after the raise? Can he double barrel or triple barrel?
- Can he smartly tackle his draws? Does he semi-bluff or check/call? Has he ever checked-raise?
- Does the opponent slowplay after hitting his draw? Does he reduce the bet size after the loss?
- Does the opponent bet hard when playing a big hand?
- Do your opponents tilt easily when things aren’t going in their way?
Notice these six things when you are observing the opponent. Now, you have to understand why the opponent does what he does. Once you find the most answers, you will unveil the poker personality of the opponent. You can use it against the opponent to be on the winning side.
The Most Common Betting Patterns to Recognize:
You know what to observe to read your opponents. Now, learn some common betting patterns to beat your opponent with a better move.
Same bet size:
If the opponent keeps the bet size the same on the turn, he is not totally committed. The player wants to be in the game, but he is also afraid of a big loss. It’s a sign of a weak player and you can raise the bet size to take down the pot.
Check/call and then small bet on the turn:
If the opponent checks or calls and then he bets small, it’s a blocking bet. This opponent has a weak pair or he may have had a draw. You should charge this opponent more because he intends to draw for cheap.
Check/call and minimum raise:
Do you want to know how to find out if an opponent has a set? If the opponent slowplays the flop, he won’t bet too big. He will recognize that you have a good hand and he will try everything to make you fold.
Does your opponent calls fast and pause on the river, and then bets? If he does that, you can guess his river. Your opponent has a flush! He is certainly chasing the flush. Once it is hit, the player will put some thoughts. If that card doesn’t appear, the opponent will start bluffing.
Small bet, small bet, and then a big river bet:
It’s a type of betting pattern, which you commonly see in limped pots. The opponent may bet minimum for some reason. It might be a part of a semi-bluff strategy. It will continue for two streets and then the opponent will place a big bet. It’s a tactic applied to make the opponents fold.
Preflop raise of 4-times:
Most players try it in live poker games. This pattern indicates that your opponent has a hand, which he doesn’t wish to see the flop with.
Aggressive player’s preflop open limp:
There might be an aggressive player, who always raises the bet size. This betting pattern reveals that your opponent got AA or KK and he wants opponents to match the bet size.
Continuously betting the flop and then checks:
If a player is betting continuously and suddenly decides to check, it reveals he got a big hand. You should be extra cautious now and play smartly to reduce the amount of money you lose!
A different set of cards make players react and play differently. The above listed betting patterns reveal almost every situation you can encounter on a poker table. So, memorize these betting patterns to read your opponents flawlessly. Thus, you won’t lose big and win a big amount in poker.