How do you practice without risk?

What I used to do, when I was bored or had nothing else to do, was to pickup a deck of cards and start dealing flops. It helped my game a lot.

Deal 3 cards, a flop, then spend some time thinking about it. Not so much about what you might have but what your opponent might have and how he would react.

There are two ways to win a hand playing Hold'em. You have the best hand at showdown, or all of your opponents fold. If they all fold, you can have blank cards. That's it, two possibilities.

First look at he flop and determine if it is wet ( a lot of draws ) , dry ( few if any draws ), or neutral. You can start by counting gaps between cards. There is a 0 gap between J and T. One gap between K and J.

Next think about how this flop might have hit your opponents range. Preflop, what position was he in and what was his action, bet or call. If he was UTG then his range is likely small. If he was the Button, then his range is likely large. Have some preflop range diagrams handy, available free at many web sites. Look at the UTG range. How might that have hit the flop. Look at the Buttons preflop range. How might he have hit the flop.

Think about the probability that his open range includes big cards. Absolutely. How about 98 off-suit. How about 72 off-suit. If there is a straight draw 654, is is likely that he has a 7 or a 3. What might be your best play. It depends on what our opponents range is much more that your two blank cards.

Silly game. But if you get good at is, it becomes fast and automatic, your win rate will soar.

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