Tips for beginners
The name of the game in poker is all about trying to figure out what hand your opponent has and whether or not it is better than yours. The most common way to this is by paying attention to their expressions and emotions, as of course, you have no one particular way of seeing their hand without cheating. There is however, a way for you to be able to read your opponent’s has without necessarily judging their expressions and emotions via counting.
Reading hands and situations is a highly difficult skill that only comes through experience and practice; no good player will be able to do this the first few times they play. The way to try and understand the art of reading hands is by picking up on player’s patterns, players can have a certain predictability by the way they play and can leave a pattern for you to pick up on. For instance, some people raise before the flop only with strong hands such as AA (Ace/Ace), KK (King/King and AK (Ace/King). This is revealing too much information to their opponents as it is a distinct pattern of play and can result in losing multiple hands.
To stop yourself falling into the trap of predictability, try to occasionally vary your own playing style so an opponent can't easily read your hands. This strategy isn’t always necessary as only the more experienced poker players will pay close attention to detail, when playing with (what could be considered) novices of the game; you can succeed just as easy by playing straightforward poker online.
Another reason it is important to pay close attention to the game is so you will think back about how a hand has been played to the present. Did anyone raise before the flop? If so, who raised? Has someone who has been checking and calling suddenly raised? You need to answer these questions in order to recognize and read situations at the poker table.
These skills will only come through playing more and more poker so if you want to become a good player the best advice would be to use these tips and practice as much as you can.