If you would like more information about playing poker on the Web,
join our newsletter full of poker tips and promotions. Sign up today
to get the latest information.

Betting patterns

Read Your Opponents Better

Full Tilt Poker

To be able to see patterns in the way people play the main thing you have to do is observe every hand that they showdown, and how they played it before the flop, and on every street after. When you can see that maybe they raised weaker with big pairs or big hands and checked a lot with them hoping to slowplay you, you can call with a suited connector, and get free cards to try and make hands.

When you see that a player is raising every hand, you can very easily pick a spot especially in a cash game. Wait until you are in position on him, and play a hand like you have Aces raising and even stacking off on him. The only way a hyper aggressive player can get off of a hand if he caught any piece of the board is to put a big bet out at him, otherwise he will float the board and try to outplay you on the next street.

In tournaments some players make a ton of steals from hands in position. They will make identical button or cutoff raises if it gets folded around to them at every blind they can. This is a good strategy and one that a lot of players use.

One can simply shove it all-in before the flop over one of these raises if it is consistent, but you are falling right into the trap of the raiser when he finally does get a big enough hand to call. So the route to take is to 3-bet 3 or 3.5 times what the open raise was, making a standard re-steal at the pot. If you can do this a few times, then chances are this person who is raising you will leave your blind alone, and you can make a better run with more efficiency in the tournament.

Another standard betting pattern in almost any poker game at any low to middle stakes levels is if a player raises before the flop, he will bet the flop. If a player is playing AK or AQ and he bets the flop and get called, if he does not hit the turn he will check. This play is so common and seen every day in No limit games across the board.

The best way to go about these hands is to first have a pair in your hand or even if you don't, it doesn't matter because if they don't have one then they can't call you. The play is to bet the turn and take the pot away from them after they have checked. To beat AK or AQ isn't hard, but to play them is hard.

From what most players will do; check the turn, you should continue and fire a second shell because ultimately when you raise a hand before the flop you want to pick up two streets of equity with it. So, even if you brick the river if you can put your opponent on a draw you can shove, but it is not recommended. If you can bet the turn and get a fold that is what you want, and what will get you the most value for your hand.

Phil Ivey

Player of the Month

Full Tilt Phil Ivey

Given that Phil Ivey is already believed to be the best poker player alive at a young age of 27 years old, that his all time winnings in tournaments are almost the highest ever, and that he has 7 WSOP bracelets, it seems a safe bet that he will break all records in his lifetime.

Phil Ivey has won eight WSOP bracelets. Only a five players have won more bracelets, but they are all much older than Phil. The record holder Phil Hellmuth has 11 bracelets, but he is 12 years older than Phil Ivey, leaving a lot of time for the latter to catch up.

You can observe Phil Ivey multi-tabling at Full Tilt Poker. Nowhere else.