After you’ve seen the flop, you have seen 5 out of seven cards of your possible hand – 71% of the cards! At this point, many of your decisions will be automatic; if you don’t hit your cards, you should usually fold. For example if you have JT suited and the flop is A72 rainbow get out of the pot.
Since you should pick your starting hands carefully, you will raise many of your hands. In a tight game, this will make the pot heads up or close to heads up. This is usually your goal because playing against multiple players in No Limit can be very difficult.
In general, you should ask yourself 3 questions:
What do your opponents have?
Should you commit money to the pot or not?
How much should you bet?
A few hints for playing after the flop:
1. Heads up – If you were the one that raised the bet pre-flop, you should bet most of the rounds after the flop since it is not likely that your opponent has hit his cards. This is called the continuation bet.
If you just called pre-flop from a late position and your opponent checked, you should usually bet no matter what your cards are – except in two situations:
your opponent likes to ‘check raise’ and slow-playing or
you have a drawable hand and want to take the free card.
2. Multi-way pots – These hands are harder to play because more people
are involved. There is a good chance that someone has a good hand, and even that the pot odds seem better, a good player will use the No Limit option in order to make it not worth chasing for a draw. Therefore you should:
A. rarely bluff B. rarely slow-play
C. calculate other players’ pot odds D. watch carefully for tells
3. Hands to go all in – You should be willing to go broke with some hands. If you flop a set and the only thing that can beat you is a higher set, you shouldn’t be afraid of it.
The chances of this happening are so small and the amount of money you will not gain by playing less aggressively is bigger than what you’d lose if your opponent has a better set. A second example is when you have the right pot odds to do it: meaning, if you have a straight flush draw and thus more than a 50% chance of hitting your card by the river. An important rule is that you’d better be the bettor rather than the caller because by being the bettor you have two ways to win: by making your opponent fold or by hitting your card.
4. When the board is paired – The first one to bet, usually wins the pot when the number of competitors is low. Therefore, you should bet in about half of these situations regardless of whether you have a set or not. The most important thing in this situation is knowing your opponents. A good player may know you are bluffing and raise you with almost nothing.
For more poker video tips, go to MyHoldemTips.com.