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Common Reads in Online Poker

Common Reads in Online Poker

The term ‘read’ is shrouded in ambiguity. Here, we hope to help define what constitutes a read, by providing a list of fundamental / typical reads.

 Key read 1 – villains that overplay top pair, top kicker: A lot of fishy, SSNL villains in particular have problems folding these hands. They will happily stack off with A9/o on a 4-5-9 three flush board, and have no consideration for potential over-pairs. Although this is a fundamental read, it must be done in the context of the hand. If you know a loose, passive opponent, with a narrow pre-flop raising range, goes crazy on a 6 high board, you know he’s got an over-pair.

 Key read 2 – villain plays too aggressively on a board with a flush draw: These villains are so scared of the flush draw, they overplay their hand and forget about the opponent’s potential holding. You call a raise with pocket sixes and the flop comes 6XX with 2 diamonds. The villain, with an over-pair, fires a pot sized bet, and shoves all-in on the turn, dreading the 3rd diamond. He naively assumes you have the flush draw on all occasions.

 Key read 3- the calling station: You find an awful lot of these at micro stakes. They are great money spinners, but you must exercise a degree of caution. Don’t be too hasty to push / 3-bet relentlessly pre-flop with a coin-flip hand such as 88, because they will stack off with something marginal such as AJ/o. Instead, concentrate extracting value on each street. They won’t let go of top pair good kicker, and will stack off with a straight on a flush board.

 Key read 4 – min bet drawers: Yes, these are the kind of players that always donk-bet the minimum to try and draw cheaply. So, in a game of NL50, they will bet 0.50 into a $4 pot on a 4d 7d Ks board with Qd 10d to try and draw cheaply to their flush. Don’t fall for it – punish them with your AK and give them the wrong odds to call. In the long term you will extract value, but fold if the draw hits.

 Key read 5 – plays all draws aggressively: A lot of players will play there draws ridiculously aggressively. For instance, he will raise on a A-5-6 flop with 7-8. It can be hard to decipher the strength of his hand – i.e. does he have a set? To help do this, we can lead into him on a blank turn. If he raises, he probably has a monster, because he is scared of you drawing and wanting to protect his hand. If he flat calls, it’s likely he has the draw, because he wants to see the river as cheap as possible, and hasn’t got the guts to re-raise you. You can then play the river accordingly, value-betting a blank.

 Key read 6 – always raises on the button / raises on the BB if small blind completes: A lot of players make these moves religiously. If you have a constant button thief, don’t be afraid to 3-bet him with a marginal holding from time to time. Similarly, if you have a player who always raises on the BB if the small blind completes, be crafty. Limp on the small blind with a strong holding like 10-10+, and then 3-bet him when he makes his move.


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