Learning how to read your opponent and keep your hand a secret are two of the most important things for an aspiring poker player to master. Keeping your face as expressionless as possible, exuding an air of confidence that you’ve got the best hand even if you have nothing but a high card, and handling the pressure as someone calls your bluff – all vital skills that help to show you’re not just some amateur.
But what about when everyone has the same poker face? Or, more commonly, what if you aren’t playing face to face but you’re having showdowns in online casinos where you can’t see the person and they can’t see you?
Not even a problem for the real pro, it’s still possible to read your opponent even without seeing their face but by assessing how they’re betting. If a player continuously folds every hand when it comes to the flop and starts raising even before you’re done playing the blind, it’s probably safe to assume that the player has a pretty good hand.
But what if it’s a bluff? Well, you’d have to go by their prior behaviour and make assessments based on how they respond to other players seeing their blind or folding. It’s a sign of a talented player when they can deduce if someone is bluffing purely on how they raise.
We’ve got this great animation below that really helps explain what goes on inside a poker player’s head.