Best Ways to “Represent a Hand”

Best Ways to "Represent a Hand"

What Does “Represent a Hand” Mean in Poker?

To “Represent a Hand” means that you are trying to communicate something untrue about your poker hand. The goal is to convince your adversaries that your poker hand is actually better or worse than it is. Every wager or action will tell a story about your poker hand and it is your job to make that story as convincing as possible.

When you Represent a Hand in Poker always try to remember not to focus on the strength of your cards when you are participating in poker tournaments. Poker strategy always makes the game fun because you can deceive your opponents and make money.

I am keeping this journal to ensure I never forget what is at the heart of Texas Hold’em poker. Knowing many of my opponents are able to think two or three steps ahead. I must always consider not only what is in my poker hand but what my opponents believe I have. All of this must be considered before I make any decisions.

I know the only way my opponents represent a hand in poker is when they are considering my hand in addition to their own. I have also learned I have to think beyond the third level to represent a hand. This means during the entire course of the hand I must understand every factor my opponent considers before they make their decisions.

I have played in enough poker tournaments to know this includes at which stage of the tournament it is, my opponent’s image, the specifics of the situation, my table image, my position and the stack sizes.

Definition: Represent a Hand in Poker

I have learned a lot from poker rules and strategies. This includes the fact the words “to represent a hand in poker” means the communication of false information regarding my poker hand. I am noting the two key basic messages I must communicate in poker tournaments. The first is that I am either weaker than I believe I am or stronger than I think I am. The second is every action and bet I make tells a story regarding my poker hand.

I have to make my story as believable as I possibly can. I must use a variety of tactics when I am telling a story. This includes when I bet, the size of my bet, the way I time my actions and the amount of my stack I am willing to commit to my hand. I am also noting the different ways I can represent strength regarding my hand.

Represent A Hand With Continuation Bets

continuation bets

I always consider the way poker players have continued to evolve during the last few years. Betting the flop does not guarantee me an automatic win anymore simply because I raised the pre-flop. Whether or not I bet and the amount I bet must be based on a few important factors.

This includes the tendency of my opponent to play back at me, my table image, the texture of the flop, my position and the stack sizes. In most cases, I believe the correct action is representing strength. I also know telling a story that is believable when I place a bet is critical to my success.

When I represent a hand as strength, I know the most important factor is the size of my bet. Depending on the response of my opponent, this will set up my actions as the game progresses.

Example of raising while in the cut-off position. I am going to say a flop of A79 and two hearts are called and checked by the big blind. I must know how much I would be willing to bet if I had an ace and the draws were there. It is unlikely my opponents will believe I hold an Ace if my bet is just one-third of the pot. My best action is to bet one-half to two-thirds of the pot to give improper odds to the drawing hand.

Firing Two Barrels

If I am called on a continuation bet and check the turn, I am showing weakness. If I give up during the turn I am not telling a very good story. I am telling my opponents I missed the flop, tried to come back with a continuation bet and are hoping I will be checked behind by my opponent.

I have to remember my flop will be called by a lot of players because they have become so common. My opponents want to evaluate the way I choose to play the turn. If I really had a good hand, I would probably not check the turn while I was representing on the flop. I must bet the turn to ensure my story is convincing.

If I make a bet on a fairly dry flop with J63 and no draws with an Ace hitting at the turn, this is one of my best opportunities to fire a second barrel. My opponent may have had a mid-pocket pair and called my flop just to evaluate the turn. If I have a hand such as AK or AQ and the ace hits, I could get too many hands to beat my opponent making it difficult for them to continue.

If I have read my opponent correctly for weakness, I must consider the betting size. My best bet is one-half to two-thirds of the pot. I will not be scared and show weakness by placing the same size turn bet I made for my flop bet.

If I bet 1,200 and the pot is 2,000, the pot would be 4,000 if my opponent calls. If I place turn bet for about 2,800-3000, my bet will remain consistent with my story. Provided my opponent with a difficult decision to see a river card. I must remember my goal is forcing my opponent to fold. I may be able to accomplish this by making a bet of this size.

Represent a Hand with Strength with Position

betting position

I understand poker games and the way to represent a hand with table strength by using my poker position. Raising early for a pre-flop is a lot more believable than raising in a later position. I have seen less respect for the later position as Texas Hold’em Poker has evolved. This means I may have to adjust the position I use to steal from. This is dependent on my opponents on the left. I can also represent strength by adjusting my position against aggressive opponents.

The Pre-Flop Re-Raise

When I am in position, I can re-raise pre-flop. Re-raising from either the cut-off or button position enables me to show more strength than re-raising from the blinds. If I am called on pre-flop, chances are good I will be checked on the flop. This means I can use a continuation bet to take the pot.

The Continuation Bet Raise

I am noting another situation my position can be used to represent strength post-flop. This is when the player on my right places continuation bets every time and constantly waits until the late position to raise. Even though I can re-raise my opponent pre-flop, I can control the pot size better by calling pre-flop to outplay my opponent on the flop.

By calling my opponents raise, I am telling him I have a hand. Since I did not re-raise prior to the flop, my opponent will most likely assume my poker hand is medium strength. My opponent will miss two-thirds of the flops because he is making continuation bets every single time. A raise of 2x will probably take down the pot. If the board is ragged, I will be representing an over pair. If the board has face cards, at the very least I would represent a hand, top pair.

Calling a Continuation Bet

I am going to continue noting the same example of a player generally using continuation bets. I have the option of calling the flop bet to get the pot on the turn. The only way I can make this work is by using the texture of the flop and my past tendencies to make certain the story regarding my hand is believable.

Representing a Flush

One of the most effective and believable turn bluffs is calling a flop bet when there is a flush draw showing.

When my opponent places a bet on a flop of two hearts with a Q93, I can raise on the button. My opponent will proceed cautiously because I called the flop and I may have any number of hands. I could have called pre-flop because I have a 77-TT. KQ, QT, QJ or a flush draw. If I get a third heart during the turn, my opponent will probably slow down. This means I can represent the flush by betting and take the pot. Due to the chance I have a flush, my opponent’s only choice is to fold unless they have a big hand.

Representing Weakness

The majority of people assume when I represent a hand, I am attempting to convince my opponent to fold by pretending to be stronger than I am. I may be representing a weak hand to convince the player to simply pay me off.

Representing: The Continuation Bet

I believe this is one of the best strategies to use against an aggressive player. A lot of opponents make the assumption I will place a bet on the flop once I make a raise prior to the flop. This is because of the frequency of continuation bets. If my connection with the flop is big due to a top-pair, a set or a two-pair, I may be able to convince my opponent to raise by making a slightly weaker continuation bet.

I am going to note the example of a pot of $450 with a board of Kxx. This would make $200 a good size bet. My bet would be small enough to convey weakness while providing the illusion to my opponent of having fold equity. If the only move of my opponent is all-in, they may believe I will fold if they shove in their stack. I can use this to make a profit.

Strong Hands with Probe Bets

During the pre-flop raiser, I can bet weakly to get numerous chips from aggressive players. I must not make a bet weak enough where I appear strong. My bet must make my opponent believe I am defining my hand. My best bet is about fifty percent of the pot. If the pot is $900, and my set on the flop is 5s, I will bet $350. This represents a hand like JT, KT, QT or QJ. A small bet is ideal for an aggressive player.

Final Thoughts

I must outplay my opponents to take my game to the highest level possible, the WSOP. This means I must always be thinking one level deeper than any of my opponents. You must represent a hand in poker using multiple factors whether my goal is to get my opponents to raise, call or fold. I have to make certain I remain conscious of the thoughts of my opponents in every single poker hand I play from this point forward. I can use this strategy to win as many chips as I possibly can in every poker game.


Represent a Hand in Poker – FAQ

What does represent a hand in poker mean?

If there is a potential straight or flush on the board, you can bet to pretend (represent) you have made that straight or flush.

What is hand for hand in poker?

This is when you’re getting close to the money in a tournament. They want to make sure that every table is playing the same amount of hands so it’s fair.

How do you identify poker hands?

People have patterns. You can also tell by watching how much they bet pre-flop. Most people bet an amount relative to the strength of their hand.

What is the most common winning hand?

Good question. There is no definitive answer. But most hands don’t reach the showdown, so you can look at it that way.

Author: Henry Brown