Winning Texas hold’em Strategy – Play After the Flop

Play after the flop is crucial to your success at Texas hold’em. The flop is hugely important because the value of the hands can change dramatically. A good hand before the flop can become worthless after the flop. After the flop you should togel singapore recognize if you are the favorite or just an also-ran. If you call or raise when you don’t have a strong hand, you are throwing money away.

When you see the flop, you have seen more than 70% of the cards that will be available to you to put together a winning hand. If the flop doesn’t mesh with your two pocket cards, fold. Stay in only if the flop improves your hand. If the flop gives you straight or a flush or a chance at flush draw or an outside straight draw, stay in if the pot is large or figures to get large. Stay in if you have top pair or better. Stay in with a pocket pair higher than any card on the board. If your hand doesn’t meet these criteria, check or fold.

Let’s look at the case where the flop you see is the flop of your dreams. The two sevens in the flop fit in beautifully with the pocket sevens you were dealt. Or the three diamonds of the flop complement perfectly the ace-ten of diamonds that you hold. Before we go any further, here’s a true story. I held the ace-ten of diamonds and the flop came up with three diamonds. I bet it to the hilt. Unfortunately the board paired on the river, and I lost to a full house. Ouch. It won’t happen often that the flop is good to you, but when it is what should you do? Give your opponents every opportunity to get a good hand but not one that will beat yours. Never give them a free card that could give them a better hand than yours. Analyze the betting and the flop and make an educated guess as to what cards your opponents hold, and then bet accordingly.

What should you do with a good hand, say ace-king off suit, when the flop comes up with neither an ace nor a king? These are the hardest hands to play since they are in a gray area. They’re not good enough to automatically keep you in the game, and yet they’re not so bad that you should feel pressure to fold. If both your cards are higher than the cards on the board and the betting is weak, you should consider staying in. If there’s a raise in front of you, fold. Good players know exactly when to bluff. When do they bluff? Hardly ever. Of course if you never bluff and your opponents catch on, they have valuable information to be used against you. On the other hand if you bluff all the time, you will end up losing a lot of money. The good player learns the happy medium between never bluffing and bluffing too much. Newbies, weak players, and poor players invariably bluff too much especially at low limit games because it costs so little to stay in. This is usually a big mistake and ends up costing you money. The object is to keep the opponents guessing so they will guess wrong most of the time. Properly done, bluffing will win some pots you should have lost, and win more money in the pots where you have the best hand. Pick up clues from your opponents play, and if you are certain someone has a better hand, fold. Especially at low stakes games2, fold often if your object is to win and not just have a good time. The way to win at Texas hold’em is to have patience and wait until you have a strong hand or pounce on an opponent when he makes a mistake. You will only play three or four hands in an hour, but you will be more likely to win.

When you are not playing, observe your opponents. Pick up clues about the style of each of your opponents. Some players will call with any hand at all. Some players are very conservative and only play when they have a very good chance of winning. After an hour of play, you should have a good “read” on the others at the table.

About bluffing. In a low stakes game, don’t bluff often. If you do, others will observe your play, and your bluff will be called all the time. Maybe one out of ten hands you play is the right amount of bluffing. On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of never bluffing; you will be giving away too much information to your opponents. Watch for opponents who never bluff. By their betting you will have a good idea of what kind of hand they hold.

Texas hold’em is a positional game. An element of how you bet depends on whether you have to bet early or others have to bet before you do. If you are in an early position, only bet with the twenty best hands. As more and more players bet before you do, you can ease up on the requirements to bet, however, if there is a raise before you bet, only call with the twenty best hands.

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