How to read weakness in your poker opponent
Many players claim that it is impossible to get a read on your opponents while playing poker online. While it is more difficult than playing with your buddies on a Friday night it is not impossible to read your opponent over the internet. The ability to make accurate reads about your opponent’s hands can take you from being a losing player to a dominating force at the tables!
One easy way to tell if your opponents are weak is if they constantly check to you. If it is checked to you on both the flop and turn you are most likely ahead and betting out will almost always take down the pot. Not many players will check two streets in a row and if you are check raised on the turn it will be easy to fold as you are more than likely behind. If your opponents are calling with too many hands pre flop and checking then folding post flop it can be profitable to continuation bet with a massive range of hands. Finding hands in which you the other player has decided to fold to any bet is an easy way to increase your win rate.
Another common tell that indicates weakness is constant limping. Many times players who limp are looking to see a cheap flop with bad or drawing hand. If you are in late position and one or two players limp in front of you it is often a good idea to raise with a wide variety of hands and charge them to see a flop out of position with a weak hand. You will have position and will be the aggressor. These two factors will make it nearly impossible to playback against you without a premium hand. Beware! Some players will limp with hands like aces and kings to try and trap you and take advantage of your aggressive style. Be sure to take careful notes of players who limp with premium hands so you do not lose a big pot.
If your opponent making lots of small bets at a pot there is a good chance that they are holding a weak hand. Many players, especially fish will min bet at flops that they miss or only hit a hand like bottom pair. Do not be afraid to raise or even call against these players. Raising will often drive them out of the pot and force them to fold and calling is always a good option since you will most likely be getting very good pot odds. Remember, don’t be scared! Min bets will keep the pot small so folding will be cheap if your opponent tried to trap you.
One last sign of weakness is timing down. While this is not nearly as accurate of a measure of strength as the other tells it can still be useful. Many players who have a big hand will eagerly mash the raise button but take time to think about what they want to do with other hands. If another player at the table check raises all in as soon as the action is on them there is a good chance they have a good hand. On the other hand if they are taking twenty seconds to think about a decision on a dry board after limping they most likely do not having a good hand. Be careful! Player’s timings can be affected by many different circumstances such as multi tabling, instant messaging and internet connection. It is important not to rely on timings as your only form of reads while playing internet poker.
Despite what some players may say there are many different ways to read weakness in your opponents in online poker. While tells in internet poker may be harder to see to the naked eye a seasoned pro can read a fish like a book. By learning how to read your opponents and judge the strength of their hands you will become a better player a see an increase in your win rate.