Texas Holdem

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Holdem Poker

Post Flop Play

General Concepts:
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$ tables.

Texas Holdem Poker
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