Feb 28 2010

Betting Flops in Texas Hold Em

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

A lot of poker players don’t know which flops call for a bet and which flops should be played more passively. One of the large determinants of the proper post-flop action is the corresponding pre-flop action. Pre-flop play will build the framework for the rest of the hand, so it is important that you use this information to help make your post-flop decisions easier.

This holds true whether you have a strong hand, a weak hand, or are just making a continuation bet after a pre-flop steal attempt. It shouldn’t be too hard for most players to learn when they should and shouldn’t bet flops, this is largely because it should be common sense. If you want to build a pot or are playing against a draw heavy board, get the money in the middle. If you are playing against a loose or spastic opponent, get the money in the middle. These are common situations where it should be clear that building a pot is necessary, but there are plenty of players who will wait around anyway. One of the worst mistakes that players can make is waiting for someone else to make a bet and be the aggressor. By the time that this happens you may very well be behind. The more passively you play a hand, the more opportunities you give your opponents to catch up. Don’t give other players free chances to beat you, it just doesn’t make sense.

No-Limit Hold’em, $2.00 BB (9 handed) @ Full Tilt

Hero (Button) ($200)`

SB ($157.25)

BB ($415.40)

UTG ($140.50)

UTG+1 ($235.55)

MP1 ($242.60)

MP2 ($250.25)

MP3 ($225.45)

CO ($178.15)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Qh, Qd

1 fold, UTG+1 bets $7, MP1 calls $7, MP2 calls $7, 1 fold, CO calls $7, Hero raises to $31, 4 folds, MP2 calls $24, 1 fold

Pre flop we are dealt pocket queens, the third best starting hand in all of Texas Holdem. Now, our plan should of course be to bulk up the pot as much as possible pre flop. An early position player opens the action with a 3.5x big blind raise and gets a handful of callers. QQ is not a hand that wants to see a multi way flop with this many players, for this reason we make a standard re raise. Notice that the raise isn’t excessively large, just large enough to build a pot and weed out the weaker players who wanted to see a flop. If one of the weaker players calls, it is fine, because they were not getting the correct price. We end up getting just one call from one of the callers of the open raise. This should tell us that they probably aren’t too strong and that we almost certainly have the best hand. We head to the flop in position. This is almost always a bad play by the caller, but that is great news for us.

Flop: ($86) 2h, Jh, 4h (2 players)

MP2 checks, Hero bets $60, MP2 raises to $219.25 (All-In), Hero calls $109 (All-In)

The flop is pretty good, leaving us with an over pair and a strong flush draw. The caller checks and we can either check back or fire a bet. The play should be obvious, we need to make a bet and get the money in. We make a $60 bet into the $86 pot and the MP2 player shoves over us. Now, if we are behind we will have outs, but we beat way too many hands/have too many outs to fold. We call and are ahead by a mile. If we had played the hand passively we could have been stuck if a heart came or would have been outdrawn had out opponent hit one of their outs. This is a standard play that many players will completely butcher.

Turn: ($424) 10c (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($424) 9h (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $424 | Rake: $3.50


Hero had Qh, Qd (flush, Queen high).

MP2 had Jd, 7d (one pair, Jacks).

Outcome: Hero won $841

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