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Figuring Out Your Opponent’s Hand

A Hand from the 2011 WSOP $25,000 Heads-Up Event

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jul 27, 2011


In modern poker, players generally base their strategy on the range of hands that they expect their opponents to hold. This is a very sensible policy. An early position raiser, for instance, usually has a hand in the top 10 percent to 20 percent. Therefore, it is logical to base your strategy against an early-position raiser on the fact that he has one of these premium hands. However, during the course of a hand, there are times when you will be able to home in on almost exactly what hand they could be holding. Intuitive players can occasionally do this without really knowing how they’re doing it. Their subconscious likely evaluates their opponents’ actions and combines some tiny factors to arrive at a concrete solution. Unfortunately, there is no way to teach people how they do it. They will also have ‘off days’ when their intuition isn’t working and they ...

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