Winning at poker requires a deep awareness and understanding of the current situation and your opponents. Sometimes, the nuances that you pick up or miss can make a huge difference in a major decision. So you need to constantly be aware of the conditions of the game you’re in, and the constant changes that continuously occur.
Here are 10 basic things to look for, take note of, and continuously update your knowledge of:
- Your opponent’s range, adjusted for the current conditions. What hands will he bet with? Call with? Check with? Raise with? Check-raise with?
- Does he like to bluff? Is his bluffing frequency greater or less than optimum?
- Does he lay down hands to pressure?
- Does he pay off liberally?
- Does he bet his draws? Raise his draws?
- Does he automatically continuation bet? If not, when not?
- Does he like to make trap plays, or is he an ABC straight-forward player?
- Does he like to check-raise? With what strength hands?
- Does his bet-sizing vary, and is it indicative of his hand strength?
- Does he have tells?
Obviously, there are more, and you can delve deeper into each of these 10 issues. That said, it’s important to create a thought train within your mind so that you don’t mentally wander and can compartmentalize what you need to know. As you practice this, your mental skills will develop, the thought train will become habitual, and you can then train your conscious thought to a higher level.
Do that, and over time you’ll train your mind to automatically flowchart poker problems. And you’ll be amazed how much that it will develop your game!