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Playing against one opponent.

Anytime that a pair will hit the poker board, it will diminish the possibility that the flop will have hit your rival’s hand. The reason for this is simple, having two cards of the same rank on the board would take away one of his prospects of making a pair. Because the flop would be less likely than normal to have helped, this would be a good occasion to play aggressively and grasp control of the pot.

You Are First to Act

When you would be the first to act, you would have to bet if you were to have any pair (whether in your hand or from the board), as well as a big ace such as an ace and queen. Usually, these poker hands would be the best hands at this point, but they would be susceptible, so you shouldn’t give your rival a free chance to catch up. It would be important not to be afraid that the pair on the board would hit your poker rival’s hand.

Even if you would occasionally run into trips (especially if the pair were to be a high card like a pair of aces, which would contain cards your opponent would be more likely to play), you must not permit fear to influence you into checking.

In fact, if you were to sense that your poker rival was apt to be in the pot with a weak hand – that is, something other than a pocket pair or big ace – it would be proper to bet the flop when a pair would hit regardless of your hand. The reason for this would be that the flop to a bet, fearing the likelihood that you would be the one holding three of a kind.

Opponent Is First

If your poker rival would be the first to act and would bet into you, you should call with any pair or big ace. There would be just too good a chance that your poker rival would be trying to pick up this pot with a bet, and you would have a poker hand that could win without extra improvement. If you were to fold a hand like a pair of eights would be best hand here. You wouldn’t win every time, but if you were to always fold in this position, you would be throwing a lot of winners into the muck.

If you were holding an overpair to the board and your poker rival were to bet, you must by and large raise your hand for value. When you would bet or raise ‘for value,’ this would mean you would want your rival to put more money into the pot because you were perhaps holding the best hand. Your poker hand wouldn’t be a lock, but would most likely be good.

You Flop Trips

Now, what must you do on those rare instances when you would be fortunate enough to flop trips? First of all, it would be imperative not to get overly excited. Spilling your drink all over the table after the flop was to come down would not be a good way of promoting your poker rival to play along with you.

Commonly, you must be apt to play your trips aggressively right from the flop onward. Most poker players would expect their rivals to slowplay when they would flop a big hand, so your bet might be construed as a sign of weakness rather than a showing of strength.

This could lead to your getting unwarranted action on the hand, particularly if you would be up against a very aggressive poker player. By playing your trips fast (that is, aggressively, not slow-playing), you would be taking advantage of your opponent’s aggressive predisposition by turning them against him.

On the other hand, you could need to check your trips on the flop against very tight poker rivals so you could suck any more bets from them. They would be unlikely to call a bet on the flop, so you could check one time hoping the turn would either make them a pair, or include a bluff. Still, it would be dangerous to give free cards when the turn could bring your rival a miracle.

So, it would be best to check when fewer draws would be present on the flop. For example, checking a poker hand such as an ace and an eight if the flop was a pair of eights and a two rainbow would be fairly safe. Pot no limit texas hold'em. It would probably not be a good idea to check an ace and eight when the flop was a pair of eights and a nine with a flush draw, however, as too many potential hands could either outdraw you on the turn, or at least develop quality draws.

Guidelines on playing when you flop a pair of aces in a multiway pot.

For this example, we will assume that four or more poker players were in the hand, and that the flop was an ace, a nine, and a three of three suits. With no justifiable draws present, in all likelihood the best hand on the flop would win this pot.

If you were first to act, or if the action had been checked to you, you would have bet if you were holding an ace in your hand. You would probably have the best poker hand, and you wouldn’t wish to give poker players holding hands such as a ten and nine a free opportunity to draw out (improve against your better hand).

When there would be a bet to you, you would have to raise with either an ace and king or an ace and queen. Only a few reasonable poker hands would beat an ace and king or an ace and queen here (a pair of aces, a pair of nines, a pair of threes, an ace and nine, and an ace and three), so there would be an exceptional chance you would be holding the best poker hand. It would be important to play aggressively, to maximize your profit from the hand.

This would also be a case in which many mediocre hands (especially any ace with a smaller kicker) would be likely to pay you off, so raising for value would be a good strategy here. What if you were the one holding the weak ace? We would hope this would mean you were in the blind, not that you would have a temporary breakdown in your starting hand standards. If there would be a bet to you and your poker hand was, say, an ace and a seven, you would be holding enough to call but not enough to raise.

One of the main arguments against calling (as opposed to raising in general would be that it would give your rivals the occasion to draw out on you for free). Nevertheless, given this poker board, your ace and seven would be highly likely to hold up if it was in fact the best hand. There would be no overcards to an ace, or would there be flush and straight draws present. So, calling would not be that risky here.

By calling, you would lose less money if you were holding the worst hand, and would perhaps win the same amount if your hand would be good (since a raise on your part would be apt to ‘shut down’ an opponent holding a worse hand). Sometimes there will be a bet and a raise before the action would ever gets to you.

In this position, either one or both poker players would be holding a pair of aces or better, so you would have to advance with extreme caution. There would be very little chance that an ace with a poor kicker would be the best poker hand here, and about the best you could hope for would be to get out with a split.  So, you must be inclined to fold in this spot unless you were holding an ace and queen or better.

Tip 23: Playing against one opponent when the flop contains a straight or flush draw. << Previous   Next >> Tip 26: Playing a multiway pot.


How to Play Hold’em

Three Universal Hold’em Concepts
Tip: 1-3

Playing Before the Flop
Tip: 4-16

Playing on the Flop
Tip: 17-27

Playing on the Turn
Tip: 28-37

Playing on the River
Tip: 38-45

More Hold’em Concepts You Should Know
Tip: 46-52

Poker Odds Chart

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