Before you get into a hand you should be thinking about your post-flop strategy, as this is the most important factor to the overall success of your game.
If you get in a big hole, or are way behind, it’s very important that you lower the size of the pot in order to save yourself. You will be able to save yourself by making a big pre-flop raise or even re-raising the hand. A big pre-flop raise can scare away other players, and you can then base your decision after the flop on the pot odds.
However, it is important to never forget your cards, because it is also important for you to remember what cards could have better hands out there, and therefore, you need to remember the cards at all times.
The most important thing to remember about post-flop play is that this is not the time to bluff. In a large pots, it’s easy to bluff but you should be really tricky and not bluff the whole time, because you need to keep the opponents in the game.
When playing against one, or two opponents, if you don’t have a very good hand, then don’t bet pre-flop, especially if there are three or more people in the hand. If you have a good hand, then you should bet, but you should be super careful if you have less than top pair, or an ace and a picture card. Or even though you have great cards; if there’s a big raise, you should fold.
It’s important to remember that the aim is to make the pot bigger when you have a good hand, and to keep the pot small when you don’t, because this is the most important aspect of poker.
Post-flop play is the most important part of the game, as you can measure your relative strength with the size of the pot, and the consequent amount of money it will cost you to play, and with what you have.
However, it’s important to remember that post-flop play is ‘real time’. Although you cannot see your opponent, you can still judge how strong your hand is in relation to his, by his betting and raising patterns.
And as we mentioned above, you also have to pay attention to the cards that could have better hands out there. You need to consider what would make a flush or a straight more costly to call, or what will happen if you re-raise a player who has bet strong pre-flop.
In the latter case, you will need to re-raise the bet, to make the pot bigger, but in the former case, you can simply check to make a bigger bet – similar to a bluff.
You may also consider the idea that your opponent may have a better hand, and call you, or bet strong himself to take the pot.
One of the biggest mistakes of starting hands is making the decision before the flop. Of course, if you don’t have a pair, or have more, then you probably don’t have much, but the decision to call is often made in anticipation of good cards.
This causes problems if you have a weak hand, and others lead out with a strong pre-flop bet. You might suspect they have a better hand, and back off, but what if you’re wrong?
Since you don’t have a complete hand until the flop, the last thing you want is two strong bets from the wrong people at the table. Ideally, you want stronger hands to be the first to bet.
This also tells us that if we have a really good hand, we should bet strong. Don’t call like in the situation above, check to let people see the flop. Perhaps if there are really very good cards showing, people will discard ones that look like too good to be true.
This suggests that the reverse is true too: if you have a really good hand right now, don’t let everyone see the flop if no one else is raising. Perhaps now is the time to build a large pot.
When you have a very good hand right now, you want to be the first to bet. Don’t give other players a chance to see the flop and beat you to it.
If you have a good hand, you can also afford to let other players see the flop. Everybody has a right to see the cards, and you don’t want someone to have a better hand than you. But, if you’re not sure, raise and let the hand play itself out.
efully, when you have three or more players in the pot, you don’t want to slow the game down. The sooner the better because the more players, the more you build into a pot that you can win.