Read

  • Aquiring a "read" means to spot a piece of information on an opponent that makes the player sway in their decision compared to a general approach.
    "Reading" other poker players can be based upon a lot of different information.

    Reads are mostly gathered empirically by the actions of an opponent, by application of patter recognition to spot certain tendencies in their game or behaviour.

    "Having a solid read" on an opponent means to have figured out how the opponent tends to play, which makes exploiting their weaknesses and avoiding their strengthes possible, resulting in higher EV for the player.

    A read can be connected to:
    • a betsize
    • a timing tell
    • a or multiple previous actions
    • a or multiple previous showdown
    • a or multiple physical tell/tells in live poker
    • a conversational cue like becoming chatty or quiet
    • another opponents action or reaction to the opponent and hero
    • an opponent's current level of play like being tilted
    One or a number of those factors can work together in conjunction to present a different picture of the situation, which can lead to a better decision, or a worse one if something was "missread".

    Especially the tells in live poker can be used by crafty players as "reverse tells" to throw of an opponent. There are some tells that are easily faked, while others like a pumping vein from excitement or stress can be hard to disguise or even fake.
    With that information it can be explained why poker players with less live poker experience tend to wear scarfs and sun-glasses trying to hide those hard to fake physical tells from experienced opponents.

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