Winning hands on the poker table often hinges on the ability to read your opponents and make sound decisions during the betting rounds of the game. If you’re wondering how to sharpen your betting skills, mastering certain poker patterns of betting is the key to leveling up your game to that of a professional.
Betting patterns in a game of Poker, are the common behavioral patterns of players on the table that’s determined by how they choose to participate and act in a certain hand. Some players like to act aggressive and loose and place big bets recklessly while others may act tight and only play with strong hands.
So, if you’re playing to win today, then, you must know what type of players you’re up against. You need to figure out how to formulate your own betting strategies and counteract the actions of your opponents on the poker table.
To make this happen, let’s explore five specific poker patterns implemented by different kinds of players in a game of Poker. Doing so can help you evaluate your opponents better and target them specifically. Once you identify their betting patterns during a hand, you can turn the tides of any poker game in your favor.
Common Poker Patterns You Need to Know
Number of Hands They Play
To begin with, notice the number of starting hands your opponent chooses to play within a set of specific numbers of hands. If they are playing five or more hands out of ten, you can safely count them as a loose player who likes to play even with marginal hands. Those who play less than five out of ten hands are more selective and choose to play descent to premium hands only.
This means bluffing against tight players can prove fatal as a betting strategy and it is wise to fold if they are betting aggressively. However, if you’re up against someone who tends to play every other hand and limp all the way to the turn or river, you can choose to value bet with strong hands and bleed them dry.
Take Away: When you identify such poker patterns, bluff and force the limpers out of the hand by raising pre-flop and narrow your field of opponents. And if you have a marginal hand, fold when you face a tight and aggressive opponent.
Do They Follow Through?
You’ll often see some players who like to raise pre-flop but often check or call once the flop is dealt. This often indicates that they missed the flop and hence, decide to call or check and wait for their hand to improve on the turn or river. This means you’re in the money and you should take this sign of weakness as an opportunity to raise and force them out of hand.
On the contrary, if your opponent has raised pre-flop and continues to bet aggressively post flop, it’s usually an indication of a strong hand. If you aren’t carrying a strong starting hand and miss the flop, it’s wise to fold.
Take away: Continuation betting or C-betting can reveal significant information about a player’s willingness to follow through a strong hand with aggression. Proceed with caution.
Do They Check Raise?
Say your opponent initially checks on the flop. However, when you bet after their turn, he raises you instead of simply calling your bet, this poker pattern is called check-raising. This is a deceptive strategy where your opponent tries to make you believe they have a weaker hand by checking initially, thereby tempting you to bet with a hand that you now believe is stronger than theirs. This leads you to put more poker chips into the pot and in turn, helps your opponent extract more value from their strong hands.
While skilled players may use this technique sparingly to avoid being predictable, some players have a consistent tendency to check-raise with their strong hands and as such, this one is a valuable poker pattern that you should recognize.
Take Away: When you identify this poker pattern, you can safely deduce that your opponent is trying to trap you with their strong holding.
Do They Increase Their Bet Size?
Another one of interesting poker patterns that’s used to detect your opponent’s weakness is observing their bet sizes. Notice if they increase their bet size or not during the stages of a hand. If they refuse to raise their bet on later streets, this often indicates that either they have a middle or top pair. This becomes more obvious if they refuse to raise on the turn. Take this chance to raise yourself and steal the pot.
Take Away: Identify this simple poker pattern to capitalize on your opponent’s weaknesses and raise and steal the pot for yourself.
Do They Bet Inconsistently?
Inconsistent bet sizing can reveal significant information about your opponent. Typically, some players often make small bets with weak hands but then suddenly raise big or go All-in on the turn or river. This can mean they completed a draw they have been chasing or they might simply choose to bluff to force you out of the hand.
As you may see, inconsistencies in betting poker patterns can make it hard to size your own bets. In such a scenario, you must consider the board texture, the overall style of the player you’re facing and their betting tendencies to make a more accurate read on them and play accordingly.
Take Away: You need to understand the overall betting patterns and tendencies of the opponent you’re up against to make accurate reads and informed decisions when they display inconsistent betting patterns during a hand.
Hope this helps you make a solid betting strategy.
As you see, poker patterns of betting serve as a window into the minds of players by offering you valuable insights that can help you play a more confident game. From the cautious player who slowly builds their chipstack to the aggressive bluffer who doesn’t miss a single opportunity to steal the pot, poker’s strategic ballet is reflected in how each bet is placed.
While mastering the subtleties of the game might take time, a keen understanding of the poker patterns of betting can help you gain strategic excellence and navigate the thrilling and unpredictable world of game with confidence.
See you at the felts!