Understanding and using table dynamics is perhaps the most important thing you can do as a player. Table dynamics is how the other players at your table are playing and what you can do to take advantage of their weaknesses while avoiding their strengths. The best way to figure out what their weaknesses and strengths are is through observation. There are seven main things that you should be watching for when you sit down at a table. They are as follows:
#1 - Hand selection – When your opponent shows their cards, pay careful attention to what they are showing. What position are they playing hands from? If they aren't being shown, observe the frequency with which they play from the various positions (early, middle, late, and the blinds).
#2 – Aggression – pay attention to how often your opponents are raising and/or re-raising.
#3 – Calling tendencies – watch how often your opponent calls bets and the amount of the bets that they are calling. You should also note when possible what type of hands they were calling with and the bet amounts that were successful in getting them to fold.
#4 – Reaction to aggression – when a player gets raised or re-raised, what is their reaction? What do they do when they raised pre-flop and the pre-flop caller leads out with a bet or check raises them on the flop?
#5 – Pre-flop betting tendencies – how much does your opponent bet? Does it ever vary? If so, is there a discernible pattern for when it does vary? Same thing for re-raises... how much do they re-raise and how often?
#6 – Post-flop betting tendencies – as with pre-flop tendencies, you want to pay attention to how often and how much your opponents bet post-flop. If it varies, you want to again look for any patterns that might exist. What hands do they raise with? How do they play weak (i.e. third pair) hands? How do they play draws? How do they play strong hands?
#7 – Blind defense – what does your opponent do out of their blinds? Do they relinquish them easily or do they call and/or re-raise a lot? Are they more likely to fold their big blind if the raise was from earlier position but less likely if it was from the cutoff? Is there a certain amount that they will call no matter what?
The Main Holdem Strategy Index: The Great Game of Holdem