Strategy for Flops in Texas Holdem Poker

The crucial holdem strategy we will be discussing about is possible flops from a different perspective from the view of how valuable your hand is in terms of its potential to win money rather than its value in terms of its holdem poker hand rank.

It is easier to think for many players of their hand in terms of its holdem poker rank. It is a classic approach and that is the way most poker texts present the material. In Hold'em, you need to adjust your thinking about the holdem poker hands away from its poker ranking and toward its money making potential.

We have been showing you how to adjust your estimate of the drawing value of your hand to compensate for the number of the rivals. You will find yourself playing similar hands differently at different times, depending on both the pot size and the number of rivals. A benefit of this best texas holdem strategy is that it adds the perception of the deception to your play without you even having to try. Your observant rivals will notice that you don't always do the same thing repeatedly with the same hand. It will confuse them. This is the way for your long-term benefit.

There is more adjustment to your play than just looking at the number of rivals. It matters what their playing habits are, how loose or tight they are likely to be, and how aggressive they are likely to be. Adjusting to the poker game conditions is important, not just adjusting to the number of rivals.

We shall discuss further at adjusting to game conditions by an analysis of a different holdem poker hands. This is a hand which was played by a friend. He was in the small blind and held QJ. The game was loose game and passive 10-20 game a couple of very loose players and no real strong players. Six players limped in and the player one seat before the button raised. Everyone called. It was a pot with all ten players seeing the flop.

The flop was T83. The first few players checked. Someone bet. A couple of players called. Someone raised. The pre-flop raiser made it three bets. Now this friend faced $30 to call, and the pot was nearly $300 in it. What should he do?

First we tell what he did do and why he did it. He folded. He folded because he thought that he was almost certainly against more than one two-pair hand or a hand that had flopped a set and that even if he caught one of the four cards for a straight someone else might still make a full house. So, he reasoned, the approximately 10-1 pot odds that he was getting would normally be enough to call for one more card to see if he caught his gut-shot straight draw, but it wasn't enough in this case. He was wrong to fold. Not only were the odds he was getting more than enough, but also his hand was better than he thought.

Hold'em can be looked at as a contest between a made hand and a draw. That's what our friend was doing. Because there were so many people competing for the pot, he improved his normal estimate of what the best holdem hand, the hand he was drawing to beat, actually was. If someone actually did have two pair, then his hand really wasn't good and folding was probably a good idea, texas holdem poker. That is the conclusion that looking at Hold'em poker as a contest between a made hand and a draw leads to. That is not always the right way to look at Hold'em. Sometimes you can come to more profitable conclusions by looking at the game as just a game of money and odds. This is true at loose tables. Although it is true that having many active hands does maximize your chances that one of them has hit the flop very well, the chances of that occurrence aren't that high. What is much more likely is that many players have picked up weak draws on the flop. Hands such as second pair or two overcards are much more likely on this flop than two pair or trips. Rivals with hands like 86 are just more likely than rivals with hands like TT at a loose table.

The way to look at the situation in a loose game isn't in terms of what the likely best hand is it is in terms of what the likely draws are, and are with this flop, the likely draws are almost weak draws.

Our friend was having a lot more than four outs with this hand. The backdoor flush draw adds the equivalent of about two outs and there is no good reason to think that the best hand is any better than a pair of 10s. Many players would raise a flop like that with a hand like J9 or even A3. More hands could raise, but overcards add somewhere between zero and six outs to a total of between six and twelve outs. That is strong draw and is almost the best draw at the table with this flop. Our friend should be thinking about the betting and raising, not folding or calling.

You should bet with the best hand in a tight game and bet the best draw in a loose game. That's the general way to adjust the play on the flop to table conditions.

continue: Holdem's Draws