Since there is so much ground to cover in discussing postflop strategy, I will keep this page relatively brief. This is more of a framework for how to approach post-flop play; I’ll go into more depth on specific themes elsewhere.
Having the correct frame of mind for postflop strategy can help you make better postflop decisions. The same frame of mind also facilitates learning and understanding of complex strategic discourse.
The Mindset of Relentless Aggression
After the flip, success hinges on maintaining a tight-aggressive mentality. Preflop is where all the money is made, while postflop is where all the action is. Mastering your post-flop play is crucial to your success in poker.
After the flop, a tight-aggressive player will either put all their chips into a hand or drop it. You can’t call bets and hope for the best later in the hand because there is no middle ground. Instead of playing weak or marginal hands passively, you should fold them and aggressively play strong ones. You should not check and call if you believe that your hand is not strong enough to warrant betting or raising.
But as with any rule, poker has its exceptions. It might be OK to chase if you have a draw to the nuts and your opponent(s) will pay you off if you hit. When deciding whether or not to pursue a draw, it is important to consider the pot odds.
made hands postflop strategy
For the purposes of this definition, “made hands” should indicate a hand with a rank equal to or higher than top pair plus top kicker. When you have a made hand, you should usually be betting and raising immediately. The objective is to begin amassing a pot and pressuring your opponents into drawing. Only with monster hands that have little to no possibility of getting outdrawn should you consider playing slowly.
Strong but not unbeatable are hands like top pair, two pairs, and three of a kind. While you have the best hand, you should bet as much as possible to increase the pot size. People who are trying to catch draws also give you money. Bets from players trying to complete draws will be lost if you wait until the river to make your move.
When holding a top pair or two pair, you should proceed with caution. It’s nice to see these hands, but it doesn’t mean they’re the greatest. You need to proceed with extreme caution if your opponent begins taking active measures. When tight, quiet players start to get involved, this becomes even more apparent. If you have top pair but a strong suspicion that your opponent has you beat, it is quite acceptable to fold.
It’s up to you and your opponents to decide how quickly or slowly to play stronger hands like complete houses, straights, and flushes that have flopped. It’s important to know when to slow down and give your opponents a chance to catch up so they can make a few good calls. On the other hand, there are situations in which you should initiate betting immediately after the flop, to throw off your opponents and take advantage of calling stations.
Tips for Winning with Weak Cards
Top pair, low kicker, second pair, and so on are all examples of marginal hands. In no-limit poker, these hands don’t amount to very much. Sometimes lesser hands will act, but most players won’t risk anything unless they have you beat.
If your hand is weak, you should check and fold or occasionally bluff. There’s a chance you’ll get lucky on one of the next two streets and improve your hand, but you shouldn’t risk your money there. If you’re not getting a free look at the next card, it’s time to fold. In no limit Holdem, marginal hands do not generate winnings.
After a Flop, Draws
Many players get into trouble when they are dealt a draw because it is so enticing. Even while it’s exciting to see a draw that could result in a large hand, it’s important to play draws with caution. Keep in mind that drawings are not done with hands, and your chances of success are far lower than you may think.
Playing draws well requires a solid understanding of pot odds. The principle behind calling and chasing is that the amount of the pot is proportional to the size of the bets. If you blindly chase draws at random, you’ll end up losing money in the long term. For a quick primer on draws and pot odds, consider the following:
Each potential outcome of a draw has been calculated. The probabilities can be expressed as fractions. The odds of completing a flush draw, for instance, are about four to one. These probabilities are easily accessible on the internet, and it is recommended that you simply memorize the most frequently drawn combinations. It’s not too hard to do.
The drawing odds can now be compared to the pot odds in order to determine whether or not to call a bet. Your pot odds are 6:1 if your opponent bets $100 into a $500 pot and you call. That’s because the pot size has increased to $600 and the cost to call is $100. Calling this bet could be profitable if you have a flush draw. When compared to the odds of drawing, which are 4:1, the pot odds are 6:1. You’ll come out ahead if you call this bet in the long run.
If the odds of winning the pot are lower than your draw, you should fold. Only if your opponent has a very large stack and is known to pay off big hands should you consider calling. However, folding is usually the best option.
You can even semi-bluff with your draws if your opponents are weak and easily intimidated. You can win the pot outright by making a wager right now using the semi-bluffing strategy. There is still a chance that you will hit the draw and win the pot, even if your semi-bluff fails. Keep in mind that phoning stations and known fish is an expensive proposition because they will eventually call your semi-bluff.