Table Observation... How???

Posted by Ralph on June 29th, 2019

Most individuals have no beginning preflop texas holdem strategy; they would sit at a poker table trying to play quickly as possible without being aware of their surroundings and whom they’re playing with. This is a common mistake most poker players make. Before jumping into the action and start betting like maniac with your pockets, consider the following preflop strategy…

Number of Players: Is your table a full or short handed (Six players or less) game? With a full table of nine or ten players, it’s likely someone’s holding a strong hand or overcards (AA, KK, AK, AQ, etc) that can easily beat your hand. Also, the chances of someone else’s hole cards fitting the flop will be much better. You should take this into consideration, and play your hand as cautious as possible. But before getting into the action consider the next important point…

Type of Opponents: As explained in Lesson Two of identifying your opponents, the most crucial information you can obtain is how your opponents play and adjust to their style of play. Usually, I would sit at a table and not play for the first five minutes; I let the button and blinds pass me once before I start jumping in, unless I pick up a nice hand like AA, KK, AQ, etc. After identifying who are weak and strong opponents, I then start picking up pots off the weak players. But before I start hammering with bets and take those pots, I like to consider the next important point…

Your position: Position is very important, as I will elaborate in lesson four. Players in late position or last to act (preferably on the dealer button) have a great advantage than those acting ahead. Players acting last can observe the action taking place before them and also have the ability to influence the size of the pot. At times, your position may be more valuable than the cards you hold.

Stack Size: A player with a large stack dominates his opponents and can scare or drive opponents out of the pot and fold, giving them the fear of being eliminated. On the other hand, watch out for players with short stacks. If they are still in a pot, they’re usually all in at some point or another.

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