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Hand Reading for Beginners

Tags: 888poker.
Posted on 10 May 2017 by "T".

  • Getting familiar with the types of hands your opponents could be playing is a skill that will take your game to the top.
  • Look into your opponents' soul, read their deepest thoughts and then call that bluff!


We've all seen it (or experienced it) at some point, a player makes an inconceivable call, leaving us scratching our heads thinking:

‘WOW! How did they make that call?'

What you may have missed were the clues leading up to the call - making it a well thought out decision. The call was probably based mostly on putting the opponent on a select few hand combinations, otherwise known as a ‘range'.

The better you become at hand reading, the better a poker player you will become. It can be the difference between a profitable or not so profitable session.

The Soul Read - Staying Focused

Now think back to the situation where you were shocked by that great call or "soul read". The play was probably based in part on information picked up on by the Hero at some point; information you may have missed.

Perhaps it was based on a slightly longer time to bet on one street or a bigger raise amount than normal. Staying focused is your biggest asset when at the poker table.

Pay attention to how your opponents play their big hands and their weaker ones. There will inevitably be a pattern that even the best of the best find hard to conceal.

Turning the Tables

Bear in mind that while you are assigning a range of hands to an opponent, they may be doing exactly the same to you. So in order to properly assign hand ranges you must consider your ‘perceived range' - in other words what they think you have.

This is of paramount importance - especially when executing a bluff. It has to make sense.

5 Key Tips to Assigning Hand Range:

  • Hand range should be narrowed street by street.
  • Typically, the more aggressive the player is, the wider the range.
  • Take notes (mental or written) of players tendencies - focus is key.
  • Be aware of your own "perceived range"
  • Remember to include hands you are behind, as well as hands you beat in a range. Don't get tunnel-vision simply because you want a reason to hero call.

This article was brought to you by 888poker.

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10 comments on "Hand Reading for Beginners"

 doubletop77710/05/2017 08:03:35 GMT
I find these sort of insights fascinating and i love trying to learn about them. It proves that all the top players have so many hidden talents to their game and it is frightening just how good they are
 DaCapo7110/05/2017 09:37:24 GMT
The gaming style changes with the time and so it was not easy to read a bluff only. But in the lower stakes you see a lot of players on tilt and so you have a good chance to win allin situations with the better hand. Only suckouts are a problem Blink
 pochui10/05/2017 13:18:13 GMT
yeah yeah... blah blah sh1t... read more similar articles and you can see through hole cards... oh and i find it fitting the end of story "this article was brought to you by 888 poker", basically saying- why don't you come and test your newly acquired "hand reading" skills to our site... and don't feel disappointed if you lost... you just haven't learned enough, there's part 2, part 3 and the rest of 15889 part in this 15982 post series.
 Gerimantas10/05/2017 16:39:46 GMT
I too like to read souls and know what my opponents have, wiw how fun it would be to play poker when i know what opponents have, i can only dream about this, buti imagine that it is so easy to make money in this situation, but in reality we xan only guess and try to make as good guess as we can
 xpok3rkingx11/05/2017 05:19:31 GMT
SOME PLAYERS are so annoying or like when I have AA and flop comes A10Q2J AND THEY HAVE KK but still go all in on flop with real money sometimes stupid but they still hit and win the hand
 mocoteo13/05/2017 07:18:02 GMT
This is true: "The better you become at hand reading, the better a poker player you will become. It can be the difference between a profitable or not so profitable session."
 pochui13/05/2017 07:54:44 GMT
i think that some dudes highly overestimate their abilities at the table, namely their hand reading skills... let me get this straight- you can't read a hand, you can just think that there is a good chance that your opponents has one or other hand, but this is still not hand reading, it's just a guess, let's call things the way they are- not hand reading, but hand guessing
 Tony_MON7ANA13/05/2017 22:07:46 GMT
It is not always easy to assign or narrow down the hand range of your opponents, especially if you are playing at micro stakes tables full of calling stations. They might call your 3 or 4-bet with Q3 suited, T5 suited, or whatever.
 Nightkid14/05/2017 00:33:27 GMT
I just walk in learning how to get me to do something like that haha little by little because if my head burns Tongue Tongue I think that little by little you learn and the more you can better to go forward every time more in improving the game own Worship Worship Worship
 damosk14/05/2017 07:42:41 GMT
I love the skill of hand reading so much that I have been observing the higher abilities of my opponents. In one game I raised UTG with AA and this dude in MP3 came all in. I assessed that he had Ax or mid pair..... that wouldn't be too unreasonable now would it. I considered why hand he had me on as I had shown a few games previously raising with KK in MP1. So.... I went all in too and the flop came 7, K, 9. Not a particularly bad flop but dangerous in terms of my assessment that he may have mid pair! The Turn comes as a Q No harm in that card I thought! The river sails down as a 2. Still no great danger to our assessed hands but as we are all in there is no opportunity to influence the game from here! I forgot to mention... we obviously had turned our cards.... and he had shoved with 72o. Of course he had read me perfectly and I was a mile away as he had shoved with nothing and WON! His interpretation of my hand (nor mine of his) contributed nothing to this game.

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