Effective Hand-Reading and Betting in Poker

How would we like to immediately detect what opponents hold in Holdem poker and win? Detecting their hands and winning - or good hand-reading and betting in poker - helps us better position ourselves to build and win the pot.

Knowing what opponents hold in poker is important. We can do this by hand-reading and betting in poker. The two should always come together. Simple hand-reading is not effective without strategic betting, and vice versa. When we combine these two in our play, we can often manage to seek better positions to win the pot.

Suppose we are at a table with 10 players and we're fifth to act (we're in mid-position). It's a no-limit $1-2 table. Our chip stack is worth $200 and we have a starting hand of pocket nines. It's our turn to act and everybody's waiting to see how we would react to the blinds - and we're expected to call them. As mid-position player we should decide a pre-flop raise. This is actually a feeler bet to aid our hand-reading and betting in poker. We put in $10 in the pot.

This pre-flop feeler raise is for 4 reasons: first, we see who's got strong hands and who's got weak hands; second, the raise helps us control the hand at that moment; third, we don't react and allow opponents to hand-read us; and fourth, it allows us hand-reading and betting in poker to force opponents to react. Now, two players after us call our raise. The next players fold but then the player before us calls.

But the action has so far built a good pot to win. And it's because we raised pre-flop, got control of the hand and made all those players react to our hand-reading and betting in poker. Then the flop comes and shows K74 and the player to our right checks to us - which is likely, because we took control pre-flop.

The checking player waits for our reaction. We're expected to check - which is wrong. This time, we don't know who's got the best hand. So we make a good feeler bet. Checking would make them see that the flop didn't benefit us and they'd just bet or buy the pot. Once we place the feeler bet, we'd see them react and have a good hand-reading and betting in poker.

Hence, it's good to be equipped with skills in hand-reading and betting in poker so we can control the hand and make opponents react to see their true hand play.