7 tips for proper hand analysis in poker
In 2019, it is impossible to succeed in poker without constantly working on your game. Any professional poker player will sign under these words. The problem is different: the concept of "work on the game" is very multifaceted and blurry. Watching training videos, reading theoretical articles and books, studying poker hands on a specialized resource, discussing with colleagues in Skype, working with a trainer, analyzing problem hands in specialized poker programs - this is not a complete list of ways to improve poker playing skills.
All this variety of options stimulates the randomness of the learning process and its low efficiency. Today we will consider one of the most useful types of work on the game - analysis of played hands in poker software (poker calculator). The basic recommendations for effective work in the poker calculator are as follows:
1. Develop a habit of disassembling distributions
Let's start with the basics of the basics - if you are not working on your game then there is nothing to expect an increase in your bb\100 or profit in a month. Strive to develop the habit of regularly analyzing played hands, finding leaks, and gradually correcting them. Hard work and persistence will pay off in the future.
2. Analyze hand not against a specific hand, but against a range
Thinking in ranges is an advanced concept for a beginner in poker. But, the sooner you begin to wonder, “What combinations can he have based on the structure of the board and previous actions?”, the faster your progress will go. When you learn to accurately determine the range of the opponent in most game situations, the exercise can be complicated and add the question "What range, in the opinion of the opponent, do I have now?". This question will allow you to better notice situations where you can use a bluff, and put it into practice.
3. Do not invent ranges, but use previous experience
A very common mistake among new poker players - they tend to come up with strange opponents hands and ranges. Most often, this justifies one's own weakness. A loose call, a tight fold, the absence of a value bet - all this is justified by the words "What if he has an X hand." You can’t build a strong foundation for strong poker on such thinking. Instead of indulging your weaknesses, remember (or look in your tracker) the hands that most often show you in this situation. And base your analysis precisely on the range of hands that you have seen before.
4. Do not memorize specific hands; memorize the top and bottom of the range
You are not at all required to know all combinations of value bet or bluff in a specific situation. For example, we have Ah3h flopping A28r. We opened from the button position, the big blind called us.
We do not need to remember that for us the bet on value will be with the following top pairs: A3, A4, A5, A6 ... AK. It’s enough to note for yourself that it is advantageous to bet A3 and higher on the flop, and the opponent will continue with a weaker range. Thus, we do not overload our brain with large volumes of unnecessary information.
5. Pay attention to possible turn and river cards
Some poker calculators have a “Hotness” scale, which shows how subsequent turn and river cards change the situation for players. Take the example from the previous paragraph as a basis:
An exit on turn 3, A, 2, Q will be beneficial for the player with Ah3h on hand. The remaining cards increase the equity of the opponent. Over time, you will feel the danger of the issued cards for your opponent and skillfully use them to put pressure, provoking a lot of folds.
6. Feel free to ask for help
Modern poker is a fairly complex phenomenon. You will not always have enough qualifications (understanding) for an objective research of the hands played. Do not be afraid to ask for help from a more advanced player. It is not a shame to ask for advice on a blog or to put your hand on profile portal. It is much more shameful to make the same mistakes without trying to eradicate them, having all the possibilities for this.
7. Record the results of the analysis of hands
Sometimes it happens that you disciplined everything and, with a pure soul, closed poker software. That's just useful information has not yet had time to assimilate completely into any specific conclusions and concepts. As a result - you sit down at the tables again, again make the most part of the mistakes made, and then lament and tear your hair out. Do not be lazy to devote several additional minutes to the analysis - write down the main thoughts after analysis of hands and the generalized conclusion. We guarantee - the effectiveness of training from this will significantly increase.
We have reviewed a far from complete list of all the recommendations that will be useful for analyzing your hands in a poker calculator (we have the best representatives on our site – Flopzilla and Power-Equilab). Nevertheless, if you responsibly implement all the recommendations mentioned above, then in a short time (2-3 weeks) you will feel a significant increase in understanding of poker and the general level of your poker skills.