Ask These Questions to Learn from Hands Played

Finding hands to study is easy… learning from them is tough. I give you 16 useful and insightful questions to help you learn from every hand played.

Listen to the podcast as you follow along below:

Episode coming soon!

 

Get your FREE 17-page PDF called “5 PokerTracker 4 Study Strategies EVERY player NEEDS to Use”

 

First, get the 17-page PDF: 5 PokerTracker 4 Study Strategies EVERY player NEEDS to Use from the box above.

The simple ways to use PokerTracker 4 to find hands to study are:

  • Filtering for tough spots or areas you know you need to work on.
  • Pulling up tagged hands from prior play sessions.
  • Looking at big losses and big wins.

Don’t have PokerTracker 4 yet? Support the show and get it here.

 

Learn from the Most Common Spots

Filter for the most common situations you find yourself in:

  • Preflop: 2bet Preflop, 3bet Preflop, Call 2bet, Call 3bet
  • Post-flop: Cbet Flop/Turn/River, Call Flop/Turn/River Cbet

Look for big losses, tough looking hands and boards, interesting plays or lines made and review 10 or more hands.

Questions to help you learn from these hands:

  1. What type of opponent am I up against? – This gets you playing the player and helps to make reads on what your opponent is up to.
  2. What’s he doing this with? – This gets you to think about their range of hands and decide what your best play is against his range of hands.
  3. What are my options and which is most +EV? – This helps you to consider the value of each play you could make given the situation.

 

Watch me run these filters and use these questions as I review a hand where I lost a healthy pot with AA:

 

Learn from “Saw Flop” Hands in Different Situations

Filter for different ways you see the flop:

  • Saw Flop, Saw Flop IP, Saw Flop NOT IP
  • Saw Flop Heads-up, 3-way

Look for big losses, tough looking hands and boards, interesting plays or lines made and review 10 or more hands. Review some winning hands while you’re at it, too.

Questions to help you learn from these hands:

  1. Who am I up against? – This helps you play the player.
  2. What’s their range? – This helps you develop the skill of hand reading.
  3. How does the flop help/hurt their range? – This forces you to think about their range and how it interacts with the flop and the board.

 

Watch me use these questions as I review a hand where I flopped TP+FD, out of position, in a 3way pot with QJs:

 

Learn from Missed Opportunities

Reviewing skipped opportunities leads to great strategy insights. Run these “Opportunity” filters in PT4:

  • Preflop: Open the Pot, Raise Limpers, 3bet
  • Post-flop: Cbet, Donk, Float, Raise Cbet (FTR), Probe (TR)

Questions to help you learn from these hands:

  1. Who am I up against? – Noticing a pattern here? YOU MUST ALWAYS KNOW WHO YOU’RE UP AGAINST.
  2. Considering a value bet or raise: Can they call with worse? – If you can name lots of hands, you’re making a good value bet.
  3. Considering a bluff bet or raise: Can they find a fold? – If you can name lots of hands, this is a good opportunity to bluff.

 

Watch me run these filters and use these questions as I review a hand where I skipped the opportunity to raise over a limping fish with K2s on the BTN:

 

Learn from Your Statistical Deviations

Pay attention to your statistical deviations, and dive in for further analysis.

3 Steps to Notice Statistical Deviations:

  1. Pay attention to your statistics and notice deviations from street to street or by position.
  2. Filter for the play to view win rates.
  3. Filter for opportunities and/or making the play to review and learn from hands played.

Questions to help you learn from your statistics and related hands:

  1. Why is my stat so high/low? – This helps find areas of opportunity PLUS it helps to teach you to analyze stats to look for weaknesses.
  2. How can I analyze this potential issue? – This will get you thinking more deeply about how different situations effect stats differently.
  3. Review 10 hands – What am I missing or doing wrong?

 

Watch me analyze my 3bet statistic in the SB, then learn from two different ATs hands where I failed to make a 3bet bluff:

 

Learn from an Entire Cash Session or Tournament

Reviewing a full cash game table from start to finish or an entire tournament can lead to some great revelations. This is often the case with a session that ends in tilt because you can figure out what set you on tilt.

When you find one table or tournament to review from start to finish, these questions will help you learn from how it the table dynamics develop:

  1. What’s my table image? – This starts off as something, but can easily change as the game progresses.
  2. Who’s the #1 target(s)? – Always know who’s at your table and who is most likely to hand you their chips, or make things tough on you.
  3. How can I exploit ’em? – Every play can be exploited. Figure out how with every player, starting with the two your immediate left and right.
  4. How could I have seen tilt coming or avoided it altogether? – This helps you dissect tilt so you can work to avoid it next time.

 

Watch me use these questions as I analyze the first 10 hands on one table to see how I earned 160bb’s with QQ on the 10th hand:

 

Of course, you need to use these questions in your study sessions, but you can also use them for deliberate practice as you play.

For example, you find yourself with T7s on the BTN after a fish open-limped in the MP. This is your opportunity to iso-raise and try to get the fish all to yourself. Should you do it, and how should you play different flops? The answers to the 3 questions will help you:

  1. Who am I up against? – Well, he’s a fish. They make loads of mistakes both preflop and post-flop, and you know how to exploit fish post-flop. So, he’s a good target even though your hand isn’t that great.
  2. The flop comes T73r. You hit 2p and you’re considering a value bet. Can they call with worse? Sure! Any TP like JT and QT are calling, lots of 7x can call, 45 for a gut shot draw, 98 for an open-ended straight draw and even KJ can call here.
  3. The flop comes A72r and you’re considering a bluff bet. Can they find a fold? Sure! They can fold KX, QX, JX and TX hands. All non-pairs are folding and even mid-pairs like 76 and 65 can fold. A bottom pair like K2 can fold as well due to the Ace on the board and your preflop raise.

 

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:

Use these questions in each of your next 5 study sessions as you go through and review 10 or more hands per day. Do this before you play a session as a warm-up. Then, continue asking the questions as you play for some great deliberate practice. If you come up with some questions of your own, lovely! Use those as well.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.

Sky Matsuhashi
Latest posts by Sky Matsuhashi (see all)

Author: Marvin Hart