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Reading Your Opponent and Using His Weakness to Your Advantage

When playing Head’s Up poker, or a one on one game, one of the first things you will want to do is to determine your opponent’s playing style. You want to determine if your opponent is an aggressive player, or a more reserved, or limp, player. An aggressive player may cause you to be more reserved with your own betting, while a more reserved player may be more likely to be able to be forced into over betting or folding, simply because of your own aggressive style. The best stratagem to play, in the beginning, while you are still trying to determine your opponent’s style, would be a more aggressive style. I will use Texas Hold Em, as an example for this guide, but you can use this strategy for many different styles of poker.

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Define the type of your opponent

You might want to look out for a few things when observing your opponent, would be a player who checks of limps through a number of rounds, this would be a more timid player who you may be able to force into folding just by raising the bet. If your opponent is more aggressive, however, he will be more likely to raise and possibly bet the pot earlier in the game, instead of waiting until more cards are in play.

When playing with a more timid player, you can force them to pay to play. If you know they are just trying to make it to the next flop, force them to pay, or fold by increasing the bet. If you allow them to limp into the next flop without a decent bet, you could end up being beat too easily. Remember, poker is about more than the cards, it is also about the strategy of betting as well.

Let’s say, for example, you flopped trips, meaning that you have two of a kind on the table and a matching card, for three of a kind, in your hand. You would not want to bet all of your chips, as you would want your opponent to continue to play, but you also do not want to play too conservatively with such a good hand either or you will not be able to walk away from the table with too much more than you came with.

Don't hurry

Take the time to read your opponent and pay attention to how he bets as compared to the cards that he is holding. While playing aggressively is a good strategy, to turn it into a winning strategy, you must be able to predict how your opponent plays compared to the cards that he holds. When playing a more reserved player, as opposed to a player who will always bet higher will need to be played differently.

 Keep in mind how he has played numerous previous hands, not just one or two, so you can get a better view of the type of player he is. By using this technique, you are more likely to walk away with fuller pockets in a shorter amount of time, instead of playing all night and only be up a few bucks. Or you can play at online casino and don't bother about the game style of your counterpart.