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How to Play Post Flop (Poker Strategy)

Play after the flop will be your next dilemma once the flop is dealt. On the flop you will have to choose whether to continue to play your hand or not. So how do you know whether you should play your hand? Well, in Low limit Hold'em there is a simple rule you should follow.

If you have the best hand you should bet, if you have a good draw you should call and you should fold everything else.

Low limit Hold'em players are well known for calling bets on the turn and river with poor drawing hands. Why are these hands poor? They are poor because the odds are against you making your hand which leaves you trying to catch cards. Consider the fact that low limit Hold'em players will pretty much call you with anything. You are therefore not going to bluff too many pots. It then stands to reason that you will be called to the river and likely have to show your cards. You only want to be in that position when you have the best hand so you should be selective. If players know that you will call with a poor drawing hand, you will be parting company with your money.

Now consider this, if you get involved in 10 hands where you are the favorite going into the turn and river you may loose the odd hand (such is poker) but being a favorite means that you will win more of the time than you loose. If you bet a total of $10 on each hand and you win all hands you will win $100. Now consider you have a poor drawing hand where you are a dog to make the hand. Again you call $10 for 10 hands. Do you make money? No, you lose money, why? Well the odds say so. Do you think Vegas would make the billions each year if the odds didn't work or they could be beat?

Anyway back to the point. All this talk about the 'best hand'. How do i know if i have the best hand on the flop? Well the truth is you cannot know for sure. One pair is often enough to win the pot but you should aim to hit top pair and above. The board will provide you with additional reinforcement as to the strength of your hand. You may hold a pair of tens with a A kicker but if the board reads 89T spades, you should be wary of a flush, a straight or even the straight flush. Playing winning poker means that OK you will not know for sure if your hand is in front but there is a way you can find out. You need to make significant enough bets to see if you are in front. The beauty of the game is that you do not need to have the hand you represent. By bluffing and posting a bet you are simply asking whether your opponent has a hand.

In contrast if the board reads 3s 7c Td then your hand looks significantly better as you can only be beaten by a set or 2 pair. You will run into these from time to time, but the correct play here would be to raise or re-raise. In Low limit Hold'em for the times that you run into a better hand, you will win 4 times as many with this play (which equals a profit!).

There is no substitute for practice. Only with sufficient practice will your decisions at the table become second nature. One thing to keep in mind, know your strategy and only deviate for a good reason.

Don't let a bad beat force you to change your strategy as bad beats are part of the game. Consider this. If I played a tennis match against Pete Sampras, I would get killed. This is not an assumption, this is a fact. I am OK at Tennis but I would get killed in a match against the likes of Pete. However, throughout the match Pete would lose points and moreover I would fluke some points.

Much like at a poker table, inferior opponents will win pots against all the odds and there is nothing you can do about it. This will happen but much like my match with Pete, regardless of the few lucky points which go my way, there will only be one winner in the long run.

Keep to your strategy, the good players always come out on top in the long run. In low limit Holdem there is one winning strategy that you must follow.

If you have the best hand you should bet, if you have a good draw you should call and you should fold everything else.

Related Strategy Guide:

How to play Pre Flop

 

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