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Things to consider when reading holdem blackjack hands?

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How does your opponent perceive you? Have you being playing tight or loose? Does he think you are a fish or a shark? He may only make a small bet against you if they have 21 and they consider you tight. If you check, your opponent may think you’re weak and attempt a bluff. If you are perceived as a fish he’ll likely make big bets with 21 hoping you’ll call with 20 or less.

Your opponent will also be looking at your second card and making assumptions based on how many cards you have drawn. The weaker your second card and/or the more cards you draw will induce your opponent to bluff more.

Effects of stack sizes

Players will sometimes act very differently if they have a large stack or a small stack in a Sit and Go or a tournament. They will typically have a wider range of hands.

A player with a large stack will be less concerned about losing a pot. If they lose they know they are still very much in the game. They also know that players with a small or medium stack are less likely to call with marginal hands that could be winners – most players just want to survive another hand and another shot at 21. Consequently players with larger stacks will tend to bluff more with very weak hands (includes busted hands) if they feel an opponent won’t call.

Things to consider when reading holdem blackjack hands?

Players with short stacks are also likely to bluff more as they are pot-committed. With a medium stack they may not try a bluff on the end with a busted hand. However, if by losing the hand they are left with a very short stack they will be more inclined to shove all their money in the pot even with a busted hand. Then they’ll close their eyes and hope you go away.

Effects of a short-handed game

The fewer players at the table the more likely a player will be bluffing or betting a weaker hand. After two cards dealt, there is about a 30% chance that one of your opponents has 20 or 21 at a 3-man table. At this stage of a Sit and Go the Antes, Blinds and potential bets are usually a lot higher. You can bust out in one hand so your hand reading skills will be crucial at this stage of the game. Make sure you adjust accordingly to the short-handed game.