Playing Flops and Pre-Flops


Playing Flops

A situation which gives one a lot of information about a player's cards is the flop. The first move one has to take is to find out whether the hand that one has can be beaten realistically on the turn and river. Do not forget the old saying about loosing big on good hands. Trips with even an AAA should not be considered a winning thing as even they are weak to a full house. But even if one has the A high straight, one needs to ask whether there is flush draw on or not. If there is a flush, then it is possible that there can be a full house after the turn or even a straight flush. If this is the case and one can be beaten reasonably, the best thing to do is to see that the bet is sizable, which could knock-off drawing hands, but induce lower-made hands such as two pairs to call and high pairs. The high flush of A could be weak against full house in case the board pairs on the turn and full house if that is made of lower cards or in a scenario of three -of -a kind on the board.

But if there is no full house on flush and one is more unlikely to be beaten, then the options are many. The case is fit for a straight flush and if one is lucky, even a royal flush. In this case, triples and also full houses could be beaten. That is the reason one must judge situation prevailing in the game in order to assess the level of risk one is willing to take so as to make maximum amount from these hands. If a player has studied the table dynamics correctly and he knows that he has got highly aggressive player, then he can fox him by a bet which looks weak. This is also scenario where slow-playing can be a good option. Just by putting low bet or checking the opponent can be forced to make inferior hand on turn or can be induced to bluff big and these moves can pay handsomely.

Playing Pre Flop

The most important tactic for poker players playing pre-flop is they should not play hands such as King5 for the simple reason that these hands are easy to dominate. It means that when a player hits flop, in this case K, he may not be sure whether any of his opponents' is not playing a K with a higher side card or kicker and he can lose lot of chips against KQ. You need to avoid playing those hands that are easy to dominate and play more hands that provide quick feedback at the arrival of flop. An example is small pair. If you are not making trips on flop and in case betting is heavy ahead in the game, this particular hand is easy to get away from.

One should adjust the hands one is playing pre-flop when opponent has already raised. This is because of 'Gap Concept'. This concept works in the following manner: Suppose, opponent who raised has the similar range of pre-flop hands that you have, it is difficult to call with the bottom half of range. As somebody has already shown strength, you can tighten up to make sure that you are able to beat the range of hands that the opponent is playing pre-flop and not only the random distribution of hands that you would expect in normal course. This becomes very important if there is raise and a re-raise ahead. In this scenario, there is possibility of playing only the very best starting hands for the simple reason that players generally have strong hands when they re-raise pre-flop raiser and one needs to beat these strong hands.

A player's position at the table is one of the biggest factors that decide which hand he should be playing pre-flop. In case a player is playing at full 10-handed table, he needs to play less hands from first three position for the reason that the chances of one of the opponents owning a better hand than him increases with every player still in the hand. This concept is applicable in the middle positions such as fourth to sixth to act. In this case, one can play small pairs as compared to early positions, but need to be aware that several players are yet to act and fold the smallest pair.


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