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Reading Online Poker Players

by Jeremy Olson on March 10, 2013

A great deal is made about reading your opponents when playing poker. Of course, much of this focuses on physical tells in live poker that involve body language. Unfortunately, you won’t really be able to use this information in online poker since you’re staring at a cartoon avatar. This being said, it’s worth discussing some tips for reading online poker opponents.

Tip #1: Look at Betting Patterns

The primary thing that you want to focus on in regard to online poker tells is opponents’ betting patterns. In other words, it’s nice to know how much players are willing to raise in each situation. For example, how many chips do they raise from the button or early position preflop? These are just a couple of situations, and it pays to keep monitoring how opponents bet in each situation. By understanding other players’ betting patterns, you’ll go a long ways towards knowing their hand strength.

Tip #2: Watch Hands at the Showdown – even when you’re not involved

Another excellent way to judge what type of hands players are willing to play in each situation is by watching them until the showdown. This goes for both times when you are and aren’t actually involved in the hand. The idea here is to develop a range of hands that your opponents value and will continue playing. Furthermore, you want to keep track of what kind of bets they make with these hands.

Tip #3: Use Statistical Software (if allowed)

One of the best tools that you can use when trying to figure out opponents is poker software. These programs not only offer statistics on your play, but also the tendencies of opposing grinders. And what’s nice is that you can get stats on people you’ve never even competed against. So if your online poker room allows the use of software, it’s definitely helpful to chip in some extra money and use these programs to read opponents.