Profiling your poker opponents
In nearly any poker book you read you will find a section about profiling your opponents.
This is because sizing up your opponents allows you to make plays against them by exploiting their weak points, tells & leaks. When playing live or online poker always keep your eyes on your opponents.
Don't look at your hole cards, the flop, the turn or the river card until it's your turn. Watch your opponents, expressions. Remember how long it takes them to act when they have good cards and bad cards.
Do they only smile when they have junk hole cards or do they perk up a little bit?
Figure out if they are tight, loose, a straight chaser, a flush chaser etc. Size up your opponents' every move, remember it and use that information against them.
If you know somebody is a straight chaser and they won't fold down a pot sized bet to see the river card with an open end straight draw, punish them for betting that way. Make them pay dearly every time they want to see the river card. You will beat these kinds of players consistently if you can read and categorize them.
When a player stares at the flop, turn, or the river it usually means they didn't hit. When they glance at the cards and look away fairly quickly they usually have a good hand.
When playing online poker you have to take this into consideration but the tell is usually based totally on timing. Sometimes players make quicker decisions simply because it was a simple decision and take time only to think out a problematic type hand. These players are fairly easy to read.
Other players take a certain amount of time to decide on each play. These players are probably advanced and slyer. These guys are often into setting traps and using double reverse psychology. Often they are the players who suffer from FPS or fancy play syndrome. They never pass up to try to set up a trap and often give away cards cheap hoping you will bite.
Some players play the cards and nothing but the cards. They don't pay attention to tells or how other players play the game. Their basic take on poker is it's a game of luck and if they get good cards they will win.
They figure if a player raises them that player probably has a better hand than they do. They play extremely tight and are usually very easy to steal from. You will often find older people tend to be tight players.
If they call a big raise or make or call large bets they usually have a good hand so be careful when that happens. These players often like to call and rarely raise or make bets larger than the big blind. They usually don't understand pot odds and are used to playing limit poker.
Once you profile your opponents you can use their style of play against them. Never announce a player's weakness or playing style. This gives your other opponents an edge. It also tips off the player that you have a read on him. This might make them change their play, quit and come back with an improved game.
You want to tap into these recourses time and time again. Next time you play them you will probably still have a good read on them.
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