How to Understand Opponents Playing Style in Poker

Table image, awareness and presence in poker are the least important factors that will determine the ability to win a game. Many players tend to undervalue the intangible elements of poker and each would fall in this category. As a poker player, your goal should always be as tricky as possible. If you play tight then let the opponents think that you are a loose player.  A loose player should give the impression of a tight play. So you should follow the actual playing style that can mislead other players. 

In poker, you should not only focus on the game-play but also on your opponents play.  When you try to throw your opponents off the track, the opponents also want to confuse you and pull you into a mistake to shove off the stack. So you need to observe the opponents while playing online poker and see how they play hands to figure out their playing style. 

Table Image

Table image is what your opponents think of you. If you have played 30 hands with 12 open raises, then you are a loose player. This is how the opponents identify you. It doesn’t mean you ply loose as your game play can change sooner or later.  If you are a tight player and have been dealt strong hands many times, it gives off your image as a loose player to your opponents. So if you are winning almost every hand in this case, then the players will get to know that you play only strong hands.  So you should also work on table image apart from concentration. 

Table Awareness

Table awareness is how much information you have on playing style of the opponents. If you are playing poker, analyzing the opponents playing style is the biggest challenge faced on the table.  Apart from observing their hands, you should keep in mind their presence and image.  In live poker games, table talks can also provide you more information about the opponents. In online poker games, you can use heads-up display stats to read your opponents.  It is better to get every information about the opponents than no information at all. 

Table Presence 

Table presence seems to be similar to the table image but they are different but almost go hand in hand.  It related to what you can and what you cannot during the game. After the table image has been set, you can plan the poker bets accordingly.  So you need to hit back with the table image and take advantage of your opponents. For instance, if you play almost every hand but with limited capacity, you can multiply your open ranges.  You can easily mislead the opponents by getting involved in every pot and making raises and re-raises that can increase the chances of winning.  You should also have a good plan if anytime you get caught to trump up your opponents. Remember that table image is worthless without table presence. 

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