When played in a casino setting, blackjack is a game in which the clever player can get an edge. They can do so by card counting. This process involves the player keeping track of the cards on the table, allowing them to work out the likelihood that high or low cards will be drawn. This is possible, of course, because the cards dealt are not independent of each other: rather, they are connected events.
The same applies to poker. Novice and even some intermediate players tend to look at their poker hands as if they existed in a vacuum. However, once you move beyond low stakes play, it is vital to realise that much of what you do is based on what has happened before.
Let us look at an example. You are sitting in the big blind and it gets folded around to the button that makes it 3.5bb to go on four consecutive orbits. You probably suspect that they are attacking your blind, but your hand strength may be such that you can’t do anything about it.
Say that, on the first hand of the sequence, your opponent raised and you folded. This event could have easily emboldened them to raise again, so when they raised on the next hand, they go a total of 3bb ahead on the sequence. This second raise, then, is connected to the fact that you folded on the first hand. Similarly, when you folded on the second hand, the third raise was even more likely to be a steal. Unless you decided to take action, your opponent will likely keep attacking your blinds.
Now , instead, that on the first hand instead of folding you re-raised and your opponent folded their hand. Then on the second hand you also re-raised and your opponent folded again. This could suggest that they were stealing, a belief that could empower you to make the same play in future. From your opponent’s perspective, then, this increases the likelihood that you do not have a typical three betting hand.