Are you a psychic card reader?

Top poker players have the uncanny ability to read their opponents hands and minds but it is a skill any player can develop and improve.

Here are a few tips to reading your opponents cards and mind:

1- If a player folds a lot and then throws out a big bet pre-flop they probably have a big pair or suited high cards. That is kind of a “duh that is obvious!” tip but it puts you closer to determining which cards they are holding.

2- If they bet big on the flop and there is no straight or flush possible then they probably either hit on the flop or they have a pair bigger than the highest card on the flop or possibly trips. That narrows it down even more.

3- If a possible straight is obvious and they bet big on a filler card for the straight then you can be pretty sure they have the low or high end of that straight.

4- If there is a flush possible on the flop and no straight or ace and they bet big they probably have the flush or high card of that suit and are fishing for the flush.

5- A longer than normal pause before a big bet probably indicates they hit a card they were looking for. This can be deceptive because advanced players will use that signal to throw you off.

Now put your psychic card reading skills to the test:

Play 10 hands to the showdown and before you see your opponents cards predict what you think they are holding. It does not matter if you win the hand or not for this test.

If you are correct give yourself 1 point.

When you have 10 hands scored if you are reading less than 5 hands correctly you need to practice those steps above to improve your skills.

If you get 5 or 6 correct you are pretty good at reading hands and your opponent but you may need to be more tuned in to early signals and clock signals.

If you get 7 or 8 you have good card reading skills and you can trust that most of the time you will win your hands or know when you have been beat and fold before a big loss.

If you get 9 or 10 correct then congratulations because you are a psychic card reader and your stack probably shows it.

This is a skill I am working on all the time and average 6 out of 10 so I have room for improvement so feel free to test your own psychic reading skills and post the results in the comments and also discuss any strategy you use to improve your score.

NOTE: Advanced players will use all those same signals to throw you off for a bluff or set you up with misdirection and you can also use that strategy of misdirection. Give it a try.

Have fun!


Good post, i know all signals can be used as a bluff but do u have any signals to help determine if they are more likely bluffing? i have my owns check list in my head. It is very difficult to catch a bluff if u have never played with or have seen that player before but much easier if u have played with those players many times and have seen how they play. I might add that the more skilled player will bluff sometimes rather than a lot or never. The more skilled player will also show good hands a lot and show bluffs sometimes but not always. These tactics are used to keep your play mixed up so its harder for your opponents to read you. Ever wonder why the last person at the check around most always bets after everyone checks? I do…let me know if u know :slight_smile:

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Bluffing is skill all in itself and you have to read your opponents like talked about in the OP and measure risk.

If I have complete crap on the flop and everyone checked I will sometimes throw out the amount of bet I think will scare off the players and drag in a bluff that way and it is low risk because I have 2 cards coming and might hit.

If I think the opponent has a weak pair and is not betting them and a possible flush or straight comes up on the river that I don’t hit I may bet that bluff and scare them off…

The danger is using a bluff too much as you will get your close hands called and opponents will take you to the river more if you do that. So use it sparingly IMO.

I will also show a bluff sometimes to keep people wondering if I am bluffing to drag more money into the pot.

So it depends alot on the hand, your read on the opponents and how much risk you can take.

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many experienced players will bet after everyone checks around, most often than not they are doing it to get as many players to fold and be out of the hand so your chances are better, and maybe the flop was good enough to have a possible draw or u have nothing but high suited or non suited connectors. now that being said, the other experienced player that checked around actually has a pair or higher and a check/raise is on his mind most likely after the turn or river when more chips are in and someone bets larger, check/raise to set the hook on the fish.

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Exactly and one of my favorite tricks is to check a big pair, trips or straight on the flop and hope to get someone bluffing or fishing for a bigger pot.

There are so many intricacies involved in which strategy to use and the more tricks you have in your repertoire the better you chances of getting bigger pots.

If you use the same trick over and over advanced players will read you and fold taking money off the table or be prepared with their own trick and snag your pot out from under you.

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It’s also seldom one on one. At a table there will be a group dynamic at work as well. Are the players half asleep, checking and snoring? Or raising for no other reason than one up-man-ship? Some tables suddenly get expensive because one player took a bad beat and is trying to make it up. What’s the others’ reaction and how does it affect their play? And… the question then is how can your play change the table’s dynamic to your advantage?

Reading the style/mood of a table is just as important as the individual players.


This is why one should pay attention to every hand, not just the ones you are involved in.

Try to put people on a hand every single time, and see how good you do those times it gets to showdown. This is the best way to practice the skill.


Well MOST GOOD players will do that if they are paying attention and not multitasking or playing 3 or 4 tables at a time then its hard, i used to play more than 1 at a time and i must say i am way more involved in EVERY hand than playing more than 1 table. So the key is to click on all profiles to see who is playing several tables then capitalize on hands u are playing against them :slight_smile:


It’s also possible to influence the pRNG in order to get the card you want.

Intend to get that card, fuel this intent with the emotional energy of desire, and focus the effort through the lens of will.

This effect has been proven conclusively in numerous experiments in quantum physics. Although the experimenters had the intent, and to some small extent, the will, they didn’t have any emotional connection to the outcome. Thus their results, though statistically meaningful, were less than they could have been.

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If you want to do additional studying on putting a player on a hand this is a good article:

Hand Reading – Putting Players on a Hand

“Putting players on hands is not the application of any one particular skill. It’s using all the information at your disposal.” -Lou Krieger

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I often read a player’s profile first to get a sense of their start date, biggest pots, country (which tells me their time zone). But I’d not considered checking if they are distracted playing multiple tables which could be a huge factor. Thanks for that.

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Another good article on reading your opponents:

10 Essential Texas Hold’em Moves: The Soul Read

" Soul Reads Start With Observation

Understanding how to read souls is especially important because it relies on one of the most important skills in poker: Observation.

Poker is a game of information, and the winners are the ones who collect the most and assemble it the best to make correct decisions.

You must observe everything your opponents do, whether you’re in the hand or not. Seeing how someone plays their draws or how they behave when they flop the nuts is crucial to making that huge read when it really counts.

When you can make observations and compare that data to what you already know about your opponent’s playing tendencies, you’re ready to take the first step towards soul-reading."