Basic Draw Poker – Lesson #7: How to analyze your opponents moves

Let’s see now what can tell you the possible replacements of your opponents.

If your opponent replaces 3 cards, most likely, he has one pair. You should take that into consideration when you make your next move but you should remember that your opponent can improve his hand (consider the probabilities).

If a player replaces 2 cards, he probably has three of a kind or a pair. Your decision in this case should be based on his style of play, how often he bluffed, what bets he placed, how much he won or lost in the previous hand.

If a player replaces one card only, that tells you that most likely he has two pairs, 4 to a straight, or 4 to a flush. Sometimes this replacement is made with three of a kind. A player with a pair or high cards can also make such a replacement.

Four of a kind is rather rare combination in poker, so you don’t need to think at that every time when somebody replaces a card. Therefore, in most of the cases your opponent has 2 pairs or incomplete straight or flush. With two pairs, a player can raise and call as well. With 4 to a straight or a flush, any player is more careful and passive – although he can respond to the raise, he won’t raise himself. If before card replacement a player played passive, and after the replacement he started to play aggressively, it shows that most probably he managed to form a straight or a flush. At the same time you should not forget that all previous moves of your opponent could be a deep laid scheme (advertise) aimed at ensuring that you develop a standard response to repetitive actions. If your opponent refuses to replace any cards, let the others (if they are still in the game) to test the true value of his cards. If you play one to one, make a decision based on the value of your own cards and the actions of your opponent during the betting round. You should also take into consideration the previous games you have played.

If you have a strong hand, you should play even if you think that your opponent also has a strong hand. If you have a low pair, you better fold – do not forget that an experienced player bluffs but not with the weakest combinations and it is very possible that he has a higher pair. In such situations you shouldn’t raise. This way you will reduce your most probable loss and will punish the one, who wanted to cheat you. If you have a strong hand, do raise. Many players who believe in their infrequent luck will constantly raise when they have a straight or a flush, totally forgetting that higher straights or flushes can beat them easily. Not to mention the higher combinations.

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