your poker evolution
"He announced his exact hand, how is this possible?", commentators of the big tournament said unanimously. Observers of poker battles and beginners are rather impressed when something like this happens. Let's look behind the scenes of similar situations.
How to read your opponent’s hands? In poker, a very important skill is the ability to properly assess the list of possible hands of the opponent, or his range. Of course, it is impossible to always guess the specific two cards. However, a much more realistic task is to understand some of the most likely combinations in different game situations.
You always need something to start with. And you should always start with defining who you are playing with. Approximately understanding how competent your opponent is, you will significantly increase the percentage of competently priced ranges.
An adequate opponent can be understood by thinking like them. That is, logically. They will strive to play according to the winning strategy, and you can make their preflop ranges with very good accuracy since many players have similar ones. It is more difficult to read an incompetent opponent’s hands, but they make a lot of gross mistakes. Therefore, playing even in the simplest, the so-called ABC poker, you will often win from them.
Of course, each player has their own style of the game, their own deviations from the norm. The appropriate statistics will help you find them. If we are talking about an open raise, then such statistics like Early UO PFR, Middle UO PFR, Steal from Cutoff, Steal from Button and Steal from SB will tell you more about the hands with which the opponent is raising and from which positions. Do they sometimes like to open frontier hands (indicators are overstated, loose opponent) or, on the contrary, prefer to play strictly according to the cards (indicators are understated, tight opponent).
From here you start your way of reading your opponent’s hands by determining the opponent's preflop range. This is necessary in order to understand how their range falls into different flops, turns and rivers.
A simple example: if a very tight opponent raises from UTG and the board (6 of Clubs, 7 of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts) appeared, then they will not have Straight with such hands as (10 of Spades, 9 of Clubs), (9 of Diamonds, 6 of Hearts) or (5 of Hearts, 4 of Spades), simply because they do not raise such hands on preflop.
Then you see the flop and you need to determine how well the preflop range of your opponent falls into this flop. There's nothing better than Flopzilla program which will be helpful in reading your opponent’s hands.
In short, there are certain structures of boards that better fit the preflop raiser or the player who made 3bet, i.e. the aggressor. These include boards with Broadway cards - ace, king and queen, since on the flop the aggressor will have more hands giving strong combinations with these cards. There are also board structures that are more suitable for a wide range of hands (bb protection range, cold call on preflop, 3bet call). These include coordinated flops from medium cards - from 7 to 10. Preflop raiser rarely has hands that give Straight, 2 pairs or a strong draw on these boards. At the same time, a player without initiative has more nuts on them, because their range is very heavily filled with suited connectors.
Let's go to the statistics, which can give us a decisive advantage over the opponent, if we will manage to read the opponent’s hands. It will be a matter of cbets, folds and raises in response to these cbets. Statistics:
The average indicator of a cbet is 50-60%. If your opponent has higher, then, in some situations, they can replay their hands. This means that in the same suitable situation you can take advantage of this. The opposite is also true. If your opponent has a big fold to the cbet (55% +), then on a suitable raiser's board (with an ace, king, queen), you can cbet in almost 100% of cases, both with a strong combination and with a bluff. You can even slow play the ready-made strong combinations, letting them catch something, and always bet with a bluff.
Such reasoning is relevant throughout the hand, from preflop to river. You gradually discard hands from the opponent’s pre-flop range, which they would not have played on such a board the way they played in this hand. And very often this range really narrows so much that it is not difficult to "guess" the opponent's hand.
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