When a poker player is facing a major decision that could decide their fate in a cash game or tournament a number of things run through their mind. The most obvious is “Do I have the best hand?” Players have to decide if they think they have the winning hand. In doing so they have to also decide what their opponent could possibly be holding.
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Players do not attempt to put their opponent on one particular hand, instead they put their opponent on a range of hands. If a player has played particularly strongly, for example a player might put their opponent on a range of hands such as two pair or three of a kind. They then have to decide if their hand can beat the range of hands their opponent may hold. A player might also only have a draw and then they must decide if their draw stands a good chance of making the best hand against their opponents holdings.
When a player has decided what chance they have of winning the pot they must look at the size of the pot. If the pot is now 100 dollars and they must pay 25 to call, they need to make sure they have a better than 25% chance of winning, or drawing to the best hand. Likewise, if they are debating a raise they have to decide what chance their opponent has of actually calling the bet, or what might happen if their opponent holds a stronger hand.
Full Tilt poker has a variety of professional players that offer tips and strategies, you can learn a lot just by playing there.
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