Play After the Flop in Texas Hold’em Poker
This article is dedicated to how to play after the flop in no limit Hold’em. When the first three community cards are shown, the first betting round takes place, and you certainly want to have a strategy in mind to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses on the flop. This idea involves having a strategy for how to play different strength hands.
If you pair the highest card on the flop and have a good kicker you should be happy! But you must bet directly to drive out the players who missed the flop since you are very vulnerable with only the highest pair. If there is much raising on the flop, you might be beaten. Be careful and fold if you think you’re beaten.
How to Play When You Flop Two Pair
A great hand to flop, but you are vulnerable so bet out at once! Raise if someone else bets when you know you have the best hand. Look out for flush or straight draws. When you flop a pair you want to be aggressive on draw heavy boards since your hand is vulnerable; unless you’re sure you’re beaten you should see the showdown with this hand.
How to Play When You Flop Three of a Kind
If you flop a set or three of a kind you have an excellent hand. But you should bet out directly to protect it, and raise if someone else bets, especially on wet boards with many potential draws that can beat your hand by the river.
How to Play When You Flop a Straight or Flush Draw
A rule of thumb is that you should have at least two opponents with you after the flop to draw to a straight or flush. A different, better, rule of thumb is that the pot should be at least four times greater than what you have to pay to see the next card; this is because you are getting 4 to 1 odds to hit your draw by the next street.
If you expect to get paid off when you hit, then there is more incentive to pay and chase your drawing hands. Just don’t become attached to them when the price is not right.
How to Play When You Flop Miss the Flop
If the flop doesn’t help you, fold if someone else bets. Unless you have over cards with decent equity and feel your opponent may be trying to steal the pot. In this instance, you can call or think about raising the flop to take it down.
When to Bluff on the Flop
On the lower levels it’s seldom correct to bluff there is just so much money to make strictly value betting your hands because low limit players don’t know how to fold. If you only have one opponent and feel you have a good chance of success, you can give it a try.
One successful bluffing strategy is to think about donk betting on the flop, in other words leading out on the flop before checking to the pre-flop raiser. You can do this occasionally when you miss, and you expect your opponent to have missed the flop as well. Bluffing can work well on the flop because the pot is still small and opponents don’t feel pot committed.
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