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What do my opponents have?

 In order to get beyond the cards you need to be thinking about your opponents and the situation you are presented with. Here are the basic levels of thinking:

The first Level: What cards do I have?

The second Level: What do my opponents have?

The third Level: What do they think I have?

The fourth Level: What do they think I think they have?

The fifth Level: Yes, you can keep going and going…

Theoretically we could keep going to deeper levels of thinking, but you’re only going to find a very limited percentage of players who are capable of thinking this deeply – and if they are, they’re probably over thinking the situation anyway.

While getting to deeper and deeper levels of thinking does mark a more mature stage of poker skill, the best players recognize if their opponents are even capable of thinking that deeply.