Other Texas Holdem Skills

The two additional areas where the play has a key role in winning at hold'em game (also including other forms of poker games) are reading hands and psychology.

Reading hands is an art as well as science. It is also similar for correct applications of psychology at the poker table. In both the cases, you should know your rivals. To be specific, the better you understand how your rivals think and thus how they play, the better you will be able to choose the right approach to play against them.

When you are not in a pot, it is essential for you to be cautious of what is going on. This is because you will understand how different rivals play their hands in different situations and what tricks they normally try. Also, you can get a feel for how they think. You will see what thing makes comfortable and what things make them perplex and you will get an idea of what approaches work best against them.

Remember that the concepts discussed in this section cannot be mastered immediately. In hold'em game, it takes time to read hands and to apply psychology and also needs lot of experience. But once mastered, they will become a crucial factor in your winning play. And for those of you who make it to the very large games (against the world experts), you should become champion in especially these two areas to bring success to your play.

Reading Hands

Best techniques are available for reading hands in Texas hold'em. Generally, you should consider the meaning of a rival's check, bet, or raise and you see at the exposed cards and try to analyze from them what his entire hand might be. You can then combine the plays he has made throughout the hand with the exposed cards and arrive at a conclusion about his possible hand.

In simple words, you use logic to read hands. You should consider your rival's plays in each round and observe that the cards appear on board, carefully examine the order in which they should appear. You can combine these two evidences together - the plays and the cards on the board - to arrive at a conclusion about a rival's possible hand.

You can put your rival on a specific hand quite early. But it would be a mistake in doing so and then sticking to your original conclusion irrespective of what how things develop. A player who raises before the flop and then raises when only small cards appear on the flop may have the big pair in the hole but may also have the over cards or a draw and if trying for a free card. Drawing early a thin, irrevocable conclusion may prove to be expensive mistakes later either because you fold the best hand or because you stay when you shouldn't.

One of the essential things for you to do is to put a rival on a various hands at the beginning of the play and as the play develops, try to remove some of those hands based on his later play and also on the cards that appear on the board. During the process of removal, you will get a good idea of what that rival has (or is drawing to have) when the last card is faced up.

Continue with: Reading Texas Holdem Hand Skill