Poker Hands Analysis – Poker Strategy for Every Position

Hands analysis is a fundamental process that happens in every betting round during a poker game. Each player usually analyzes his decisions in each betting rounds and wonders what he should have done differently. "Retrospective analysis" is where everyone is smart and knows what was the best decision that could have been made.

Follow our guide and learn how to analyze your hands quickly and efficiently and improve your poker skills.

First Example

You are holding pocket cards; Pair of Kings and you are in the fourth position, one spot after under the gun (UTG) position, at a table with 6-10 other players (Full ring).

First scenario KK

Scenario 1 UTG player pay only the big blind, your bet must be at  least 3 to 4 times that of the blind. The purpose of your bet is to get the players with weak or medium hands out who are in late positions and will try to limp into the hand just because the bet is low for them. The chances of your pair of kings winning against one player is significantly higher than against 2 or 4 players.

Scenario 2 The UTG player, bets 2 times the big blind. You must raise your bet 2-3 times the amount of the UTG player's bet. The purpose of your bet is to get out players with medium hands who have considered paying and to learn from the action of the UTG player against your raise. If he only pays your bet, you can estimate that he has a weaker hand than yours. If he re-raises again, you can estimate that he may have a strong hand such as a pair of Aces or an Ace and a King.

Second Example 

You are holding pocket cards – a pair of 9s and you are in a late position, at a table with 6-10 other players (Full ring).

Second scenario Pair 9-9

Scenario 1 None of the players in the early and middle positions place a bet, but all players paid the blind bet – limp. You must place a bet of 3-4 times that of the blind. The purpose of your bet is to put more money into the pre-flop bet round and take out players with weaker hands who are trying to see the flop without adding more money. Your second purpose is to win the hand in case none of the players pay your bet and thus you will earn all the blind payouts.

Scenario 2 An early or middle positions players made a bet of 2-3 times that of the blind. You must pay the bet as it's not recommended to do a re-raise. The purpose of your bet is to stay in the game and to see the flop. Because you are in a late position, you can learn from early position players’ moves with the open flop about what is the strength of your hand, and thus you will know which bet to place in the second round of betting.

Third Example

You are holding pocket cards an Ace and a King of hearts and you are in the dealer position (Button) at a table with 6-10 others players (Full Ring).

Ace-King suited in the dealer position
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Scenario 1 None of the players in early, middle, or late positions placed a bet, but all players paid the blind bet (Limp). You must place a bet of 4 times that of the blind. The purpose of your bet is to add value to the pot in the pre-flop betting round and take out players with weaker hands who are trying to see the flop without adding more money. The second purpose is to win the hand in case none of the players pay your bet.

Scenario 2 One of the players in the early or middle positions placed a bet of 2-3 times that of the blind. You should pay this bet and consider doing a re-raise over that bet made from an earlier position’s players. The purpose of paying the bet is to see the flop. The purpose of doing a re-raise is to show strength. Your Ace and King pair, one of the 5 strongest hands in poker, along with your position at the table, will give you an advantage as your winning hand.

Fourth Example

You are holding pocket cards, Jack, and a 10 of hearts in the middle position at a table with 6-10 other players (Full ring). The flop is 8 of Spades, a Queen, and 3 of Hearts.

Jack-10 suited hears in middle position

Scenario 1 None of the players in the early positions place a bet. If you are a passive player don't add more money into the pot because you don't know what other players will do in the positions after you. If you are playing aggressively, place a bet of 3/4th of the pot. Your goal is to get the out card you need and to add value to the pot but not to be committed to the pot.

Scenario 2 One of the players in the early or middle positions places a bet of 2-3 times that of the blind; you must pay that bet. The purpose of paying is to see the Turn card and hopefully get the out card you need (you have at least 10 out cards) and thus increasing your odds of winning that hand.

Fifth Example 

You are holding pocket cards – pair of 9s that became three of a kind with the flop, the flop has an Ace and 2 of clubs, and 9 of hearts. You are in an early position at a table with 6-10 other players (Full ring).

Pair of 9 that became three of a kind with the flop

Scenario 1 The SB, didn't place a bet, so you need to place a bet of at least half of the pot. Over betting might lead to folding for all players and you don't want that. Your purpose is to add value to the pot in case one or two players pay your bet. Another purpose is to prevent the possibility that the second round of betting will end when all players are checking with no betting. This can lead to a revealed flush-out card for one of the players for free.

Scenario 2 You decided not to place a bet (Slow play), and you are checking, following the check from the SB player. This is a dangerous move that can lead you to either lose the hand or earn a big pot. The purpose is to let other players in late position control the hand, a player who may have a pair of Aces or two pairs. This is a risky move if in case of no bet is placed and the betting round ends with checks of all players, it might lead to getting the Turn card without adding value into the pot, and with odds of 16%, the Turn might be of suit clubs, which will jeopardize your win in this hand.

Sixth Example

You are holding pocket cards 8 and 9 of clubs, which became two pairs when the flop is revealed. On the flop, we have 9 of diamonds, 8 of hearts, Ace of spades. You are in the middle position at a table with 6-10 other players (Full ring).

8 clubs 9 clubs, who became two pairs
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Scenario 1 The UTG player place a minimum bet, it's recommended for you to show strength and to place a re-raise of 2 or 3 times of the bet on the table. The purpose of your bet is first to increase the bet for players who will come after you or get them out of this round. Another purpose is to show to UTG player, that you have a strong hand and not to let him get the Turn card without paying more chips into the pot. The third purpose is to learn about the strength of the hands of the other players according to their actions.

Scenario 2 The first two players in early positions didn't bet, you did a bet of 2/3rd of the pot. The UTG player re-raises over your bet. All other players folded. Once your turn comes again, it's advisable just to pay the bet. It's not advisable to make a re-raise and to be committed to the pot. Your opponent can hold higher two pairs than yours or three of a kind. When the Turn card will be revealed, you will know how to proceed. Some guides might recommend you make a re-raise or go all in. That might be a good idea, but you must gain more experience and learn how to analyze the other players’ early decisions and decide on that basis.

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