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How to Read Your Opponents in Poker


Poker is a card game where the twin elements of chance and skill are combined to produce winning hands. The game is played between 2 or more players, with the dealer acting as a mediator. There are a variety of variations of the game but all of them are played with chips and cards.

Players place their bets in front of them, after which they are dealt two personal cards face down and five community cards are revealed on the table. During betting rounds, each player has the opportunity to combine their personal cards with the community cards in order to form the best possible 5-card hand. If the player has the best hand, he wins the pot (all bets made during that round). If not, then the original pot is shared by the players who have called earlier bets.

A key to success in Poker is the ability to read your opponents and their tells. Tells are unconscious habits, physical or psychological, that give away information about a player’s hand. They can include anything from the obvious – fiddling with their chips, a nervous twitch, or facial expressions – to the subtle, like the way a player holds their cards, or how they look after making a bet.

Inexperienced players can be very tricky to read. They will often chase ludicrous draws and make “hero calls” in the hope that you will be bluffing. This kind of behavior can backfire, especially in high stakes games.