With the rise of online poker, many poker players are entering the world of poker with hopes of quick riches. However, as we’ve mentioned before, and we’ll say it again, poker is a game that relies on logic and skill. Luck should be your last resort. Betting patterns in poker allow us to observe our opponent’s actions and use them to construct a narrative to understand what kind of hand our opponent has and their intentions. Poker patterns can encompass actions at the poker table, like betting habits, or even off-table behaviours, such as your pre-game rituals.
Getting started, it might feel a bit overwhelming to keep track of all the players at the table at once. However, this is a skill you’ll develop gradually, and in time, it will become effortless for you.
To begin, focus on specific players at the table who will have the most impact on your game:
- Pay attention to the two players on your left because they will act after you.
- Keep an eye on the player to your right because they will act before you.
Once you feel comfortable with this, you can then start to expand your awareness to include other players at the table.
Common Betting Poker Patterns To Look Out For
If you’re a poker fan, you probably understand that it’s essential to grasp how your opponents bet during a game. One of the most revealing aspects of a player’s strategy lies in their betting habits. By observing when and how your fellow players bet, you can make informed decisions and increase your chances of success at the poker table. Here are some of the poker patterns to look out for.
Consistent Bet Sizes
Players who consistently use the same bet size may be signalling weakness. They might have a middle pair or a top pair with a weak kicker. In such cases, it can be advantageous to raise their bet and seize the opportunity to win the pot.
Pre-flop Raise After Limping or Small Raises
You might notice this pattern when players typically just call or make small raises before the flop. Occasionally, they’ll suddenly raise significantly. This often occurs in hands with multiple players where the community cards don’t favour any draws. Players make small bets as a semi-bluff in earlier rounds, and when they miss their desired cards, they make a big bet on the later streets to pressure opponents into folding.
A common poker pattern in the game of poker is check-raising. If a player checks, then raises on the turn and bets on the river, it often signifies a strong hand. These players may quietly call on the flop, then surprise with a check-raise on the turn, followed by another bet. If you’re not holding a premium hand or a draw to a better one, it’s usually wise to fold when you encounter this move.
Pay attention to the types of hands your opponents reveal during play. Did they confidently bet with a strong hand, play aggressively with a weak hand, or try to hide a monster hand? When you see their hands at showdown, you gain valuable insights into their overall strategy.
Number of Hands Played By Your Opponents
By keeping an eye on how many hands your opponents play, you can get a good sense of their starting hand preferences. Players who participate in numerous hands likely don’t always have strong cards, indicating they’re willing to play with weaker hands. Conversely, those who play fewer hands tend to wait for premium hands.
Minimum Bets and Big River Bets
In live poker games, you might encounter a betting pattern where a player makes minimum bets until the river and then suddenly places a large bet. This often occurs when they have premium hands like JJ, AK, TT, QQ, AQ, or AA. They want to avoid seeing more cards on the flop, so they keep the bets small until they’re confident in their hand.
Keep an eye out for opponents who play aggressively both before and after the flop. When an aggressive player continues to bet on the turn, it often indicates a strong hand. Conversely, if they suddenly become passive and don’t bet, you can consider taking the pot.
Some Good Poker Patterns To Adopt Right Away
1) Watch How Others Bet
Sometimes, you can tell what cards someone has by the way they bet. It’s like a secret signal. Pay attention to how other players bet when they’re not playing a hand. Try to do the same things so you don’t give away your cards.
Also, try to stay calm and not show your emotions. Having a good routine before playing poker helps with this.
2) Have a Good Routine Before You Start
Poker has become a game where everyone knows the basics. So, what really helps you win is having a good routine before you start playing. This means doing things like:
- Watching videos to learn
- Looking at past games you played
- Reading articles about poker strategy
- Relaxing and focusing your mind
- Eating a healthy meal so you have energy
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Staying positive and not being upset
3) Make Studying a Habit
Studying poker is like studying for a test. When you start, you learn a lot quickly. But as you get better, it gets harder to learn new things. So, it’s important to study a lot when you’re starting. This will help you get better and move up to higher levels of poker.
4) Learn How Betting Works
This is a bit more complicated, but it’s important to understand. When you play poker, there are different ways to bet. It’s like having a plan for when to bet and when not to bet. Here are seven ways in which it can be done:
5) Keep A Record of Your Games
This way, you can see if you’re winning or losing and figure out what you need to improve. It’s just like scorekeeping in a game.
Some Bad Poker Patterns To Avoid (DON’T’s)
1) Don’t Bluff Too Much at Lower Stakes
In poker, you need to understand the other players at your table and adjust your strategy. If you’re just starting, it’s good to learn the basics. But at lower stakes, it’s often better to play in a way that takes advantage of the mistakes other players make. They tend to call too much and don’t bluff enough. So, focus on getting the most value from your good hands rather than trying to trick your opponents with bluffs.
2) Don’t Move Up in Stakes After Losing
One common mistake new players make is trying to win back their losses by playing at higher stakes. This isn’t a smart move. As you go up in stakes, the players get tougher. So, while you might win a few times, in the long run, you’ll likely end up losing even more. Poker is a game that takes time to master, and there are ups and downs. Instead of changing stakes, focus on studying more, staying calm, and playing your best, no matter what happens.
3) Don’t Allow Distractions
When you’re playing poker, it’s important to pay attention and stay focused on the game. There are many things to watch for, like how other players act and bet when they’re not playing a hand. So, try not to get distracted. Don’t watch TV, have long conversations, or use your phone when you’re playing. Stay focused on the game in front of you. This is true for both playing online and in person.
4) Don’t Oversee Your Pot Odds
Poker can seem complicated, but one important thing to grasp is pot odds. Many losing poker players make the mistake of betting without really understanding this concept.
When you don’t get pot odds, you often end up chasing after the cards you need. This is not a good strategy if you want to make money playing poker.
You need to know how to use pot odds on the flop, turn, and river. It’s a bit like looking at sports betting statistics before placing a bet. In poker, you should always think about pot odds before deciding whether to bet, call, raise, or fold.
5) Don’t Play Too Much Without Taking Breaks
Poker can be incredibly engaging, and it’s easy to get lost in the game, forgetting everything else around you. If you have this habit, there’s a simple way to fix it.
All you need to do is establish a routine where you take regular breaks, perhaps every hour or two. During these breaks, which can last for five to ten minutes, take a walk, have a drink, or grab a snack. This break allows you to clear your mind so you can return to the poker table with complete concentration.