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.