Many Hold’em articles and training videos will stress the importance of paying attention to the action at the table, even when you are not involved in the hand. Getting clues to your opponents’ playing styles can often help you maximize EV in future hands against them. Here is a concrete example of a hand I recently observed at my table, and how those observations suggested strategies to play against each of the two opponents involved.
The setting was a $1-$2 table at the Cleveland Horseshoe on a Friday night. As with most $1-2 live tables, the skill level didn’t appear to be very high – way too much limping with junky hands and trying to hit hidden monsters. In this particular hand, I folded my cards from under the gun, and action folded all the way around the table to the small blind. He completed by adding a white chip and the big blind rapped the table, and we were off to a heads up pot.