Post Flop Play
1) You very rarely want to cold call preflop, you
are either going to reraise or fold. 9/9 and 10/10 with many players
in are the only exceptions. Calling cold preflop is extremely weak,
it is like saying "well my hand is good enough to play but
I think yours is better so I'm not going to raise". You either
believe you have the best hand or you don't, meaning you either
raise or you fold. This attitude and playing style makes it much
possible for hands like A/Q to beat A/K if you have position on
them. Suppose someone raises preflop, you reraise and then neither
of you hit the flop or turn. Are they really going to call your
turn bet and the river bet they think you are going to make with
A/K? If they do they are calling stations and you will make nice
money off of them when you reraise them with 9/9 - A/A and they
call you down with A/K.
2) If you are not sure whether to call preflop,
err on the side of tightness and fold. (it is probably so close
to a $0 estimated value hand that it doesn't matter)
3) An interesting situation is when the flop
is entirely one suit. With any number of people you may confidently
chase your king or ace high flush draw, but do not chase any lower
flushes unless there are only 1 or 2 other players in, still play
normal however if aggression is shown you can calm down and call
down a little easier. If I am in position and the 4th flush card
comes and they check it to me I probably will not bet and will check/call
river, and maybe even bet if they check it on the river again. If
I am out of position I will just check/call even if I was leading
before, and if they check the turn possibly bet the river. Don't
ever slow play flopped flushes unless they are queen high or better,
then if you believe you can get more bets by slow playing do so.
4) Check-raising is often overated but is still
a good tool in your arsenal if used correctly. You can do it in
the early position when you have a good hand and want to get in
as many bets as you can but don't think that you will get raised
if you just bet out. Betting out, getting raised, and then reraising
would be optimal but at lower levels players are not aggressive
enough so you will have to settle for only 2 bets by check raising.
Another time in which check-raising is important is when someone
bets their position too much, they need to be check-raised. These
plays are all on the flop, but if you hit a straight draw later
in the hand and no flush draw has hit then it is also a good time
to check-raise straights aren't as obvious. It is not usually good
to check-raise when you hit flushes because people are often times
scared and will check it through.
5) This is a move called the "flop raise
trick". When you are in late position and it has been bet into
you it is often good to raise with a 4-flush or an open-ended straight.
It will then probably be checked to you on the turn because you
have shown strength. This is advantageous because is disguises your
hand and if many people are still in you can then check it and take
a free card. By doing that you just saved yourself a small bet (raise
on flop = 2 small bets < calling on flop and calling on turn
= 3 small bets). If for some reason only 1 person is left in you
may even be able to take down the pot just with another bet even
without hitting your draw. It is also possible that your flop raise
is even a value raise and is making you money, this is usually true
when 3 or more players are calling it
6) A similar play to the one above is the "turn raise trick". Instead of getting a free turn this is used to get a free showdown. It costs the same amount as had you called them on the turn and called them on the river but doing this applies more pressure to them and may fold a better hand. It also makes draws playing too aggressively pay the maximum amount because if they do not hit on the river they will not call another bet. The last advantage is if for some reason your hand improves on the river you can bet again. The draw backs to this play is if they reraise, but in most cases you will then know that you are beat and can just fold, still costing the same amount as having called them down and losing. An example of this would be if you have 8/8 and the flop comes
2/5/7, there is only 1 other player in. Lets say he checks to you
on the flop and you bet and he calls. Now on the river a jack comes
and he bet's out, this would be a great place to raise him and
then check the river.
7) With only 2 other players in you need a much
less powerful hand to win. That is why I will bet out my 4-flush
draws, open-ended straights, and bottom/middle pair in this situation.
8) A similar concept applies to when there are
more than 2 people in but it has been checked to you and you are
in the last or 2nd last relative position. Here again I will bet
out my 4-flush draws, open-ended straights, and very low pairs.
Example: If the flop comes Q/10/5 and you have a pair of 10s/ 5's
and it is checked to you in last position definately bet, you most
likely have the best hand.
9) To raise for value on the river you must be
correct more than 66% of the time, this is because if you are right
you will win 1 extra bet, but if you are wrong they will reraise
you and you lose 2 bets. (this happens 3 times: you are right 2
times and win 2 extra bets, you are wrong once but also lose 2 bets
and this is why you need to be correct > 2/3rds of the time)
Poker Rules (atleast 90% of the time they will apply)
1) If you call preflop and then it gets raised
only once you automatically call. Logic shows this:you payed that
amount in the first place to see the flop, why would you not pay
this same amount now when the pot you could win is even bigger.
This rule does not always apply if you are in the small blind, as
sometimes you will try and limp in without a real solid hand and
if big blind then raises you should fold.
2) If you made the last raise preflop you will
almost always bet on the flop. ALL 4 of the following need to be
true to not bet the flop: you are in early position, there are 3
or more playes in, you completely missed the flop, and someone else
probably hit the flop. This bet is the most common bluff that will
be used and often enough it will win pots. It is not always a pure
bluff as a nice portion of the time everyone will have missed the
flop and you will still have the best hand. The last reason to bet
the flop is so that the players will probably check to you on the
turn so that you can get a free card if you want.
3) This rule is based off of the previous one.
If you raised preflop, didn't hit, bet the flop, and now it is down
to 1 other person automatically bet, you then can check the river
after he checks to you to try to win with your high cards. This
is a good play because you could get a better hand to fold or you
might even be in the lead (a/k is a favorite versus a flush draw
or open-ended straight draw who hasn't hit yet on the turn)
4) If you post a late blind in 9th position because
you have just joined a table then automatically raise if you are
the first one in. You want to do this because no matter how bad
your cards are the combination of the chance that you will steal
the blinds or win the pot by automatically betting the flop are
good enough because the pot is bigger due to your extra blind.
5) You should very rarely slow play. Most players
are aweful, they chase far too much, make them pay, give them chances
to make mistakes. It is true that if you slow play pots you win
will usually be bigger, but you will win less of them because you
are letting people have free cards and sometimes they will hit miraculous
outs. This chance of losing the pot dominates the extra bets you
can win by slow playing. Another advantage of fast playing is that
often times when you represent a monster hand people do not believe
you because of their own logic, "if he really had that hand
why isn't he slow playing it?". However, there are a few circumstances
where slow play is beneficial. If you have flopped a king or ace
high flush and are in late position it sometimes is better to let
them bet into you with their weaker hands and raise them at the
last minute. The same applies to a flopped full house as you have
"drained" the deck, meaning since you hit the flop so
much most other p! eople won't have. However, if I have flopped
these hands in early position I will still play them fast in hopes
of not being believed and being raised.
6) If it is checked to you in last position and
there are 3 or less players in, bet. If only 1 player is still in
on the turn bet again. If you do this bluff and feel like the remaining
player is on a draw be prepared to bet all the way to the river.
7) Because of the above rule and how many people
follow it I like to do its counter-play also and check-raise on
the flop in a heads up situation instead of betting out. I even
check-raise my 4-flush draws or open-ended straights instead of
betting out, if they check and you aren't able to check-raise you
then get a free chance at hitting your flush.
8) If the small blind is 2/3 of the big blind
you have the implied odds to automatically call (even 2/7o). This
occurs at the first level of Empire's tournaments and at their 15/30$