Know Your Opponents
Just like you have your own style, your opponents do, too. Fortunately, we live in an age of information. So, if your opponents are players of any renown, you will be able to research their preferences, their weaknesses, and how they play in certain situations. If you are just playing with your buddies, chances are you already know everything you need to know. While most friendly games of poker tend to be more aggressive than professional games, at the end of the day, when the chips are on the table, your buddies are going to act like your buddies and bet accordingly.
Online poker presents the most challenge in knowing your opponents since you cannot look them in the eye. In many cases, you will need to play several full games with an online avatar before you start to learn the patterns. Failing that, you can try to observe a player in an online game and guess their personality. However, keep in mind that the secret is to know your opponent, not guess who they are. If you are not very confident that you have an opponent figured out, assume you don’t, or they will surprise you and steal your pots.