Reading the Board Good Hold'em players
can 'Read the Board', and they know what hands might be lurking out there
at the table ready to show themselves and take the pot. They also know
what hands can not be possible, and so they know not to worry
defending against them.
How can you tell what hands are possible, and what
ones are not? Here are some simple guidelines to get you started.
Of course you know what cards are in your
hand, and that can help you deduce what cards your opponents may
- Pairs on the Board - if there are a pair of cards on the
board, someone may have a Four-of-a-Kind. If there are no pairs
on the board, no one can have a Four-of-a-Kind. Pairs on the board also
make a Full House possible. Both of these hands are very strong,
so when the board pairs pay attention. Someone may be holding a monstor
- Three of a Suit - is what is necessary for a flush. Sometimes
when the suited community cards are not particularly impressive, say
2-7-9 of clubs, it becomes easy to overlook the potential flush in your
- Sequence Cards - the cards that make a straight possible. If
the cards on the board only have two 'holes' in a string of five
consecutive cards, someone may be holding those cards and just may have
that straight. So, when cards like 9-J-Q show themselves on the board,
beware that an opponent may be holding the 'missing' 10-K in their hand.
|Reading the Board|
|- The board shows K♦-K♠-9♥-2♣-6♣|
- You have: A♣-K♣ in your
|Is there a pair on the board?|
Both a Four-of-a-Kind and a Full House are possible
Are there three suited cards on the board?
- No. A
Flush is not possible.
Are there three Sequence Cards on the board?
- No. A
straight is not possible.
Can you use your cards to rule out possible hands?
Yes. Since you have one of the K, no one can have Four-of-a-Kind
- Because of the pair on the board, Full
Houses are possible.
Your opponent would need to have K♥ and either a 9,6, or 2 in their hand
complete the Full House. Or, they may have 2-2, 9-9, or 6-6 and
complete the full house in that manner.
this article compliments of the Poker Prophet.