How to Read Other Players in Poker

Poker is a card game that can be played by two or more players. The object of the game is to win the pot, which is the sum of all bets made in a given deal. The game can be played with any number of cards, and betting may occur before the flop, after the flop, on the turn (the fourth community card), or on the river (the fifth and final community card). In each betting interval, one player, designated by the rules of the particular poker variant being played, has the privilege or obligation to make the first bet. Other players may then choose to call, raise, or fold.

Understanding how to read other players is essential to success in poker. The way a player acts in a hand tells you a lot about the strength of his or her hand. For example, if a player checks frequently, this is usually a sign of weakness.

A player’s position at the table also affects his or her starting hand range and strategy. Players in early positions risk more money than those in late positions because they have less information about the other players’ hands. As you play more and more hands, your intuition for things like frequencies and EV estimation will grow stronger. This will allow you to play more profitable hands in the future.