Poker Hold’em strategy

Several strategies are called for in specific situations. If you make the hand you’re looking for, bet it to the limit. If you pull a flush on sixth street, for instance, you should not check. Since some of your cards must be exposed, your opponent will suspect a flush, and not bet into your check.

That means you’ll lose a chance to get a double bet by every active player into the pot. If you check and give the active players a chance to get another card, there’s a chance they may draw a hand that might beat your flush, costing you the entire pot. If you’ve got it, bet it.

If your opponent draws a third suited card, or a third card to a straight, check or call. This isn’t a point to play aggressively because if you raise, your opponent will undoubtedly raise as well. It could end up costing you serious money.

Another situation to beware of is when a player pairs an exposed card on the board. This gives him a good chance to have three of a kind. Even if he doesn’t, he may have a quality hand. Unless you can beat him with a better hand, or you’re looking at a particularly good pot, retire.

Once you have decided to bet on fifth street, it rarely makes sense to fold before the river. The only exception to this rule is if you can clearly see that your hand cannot be improved enough on sixth street to beat a threatening hand held by an opponent. If you decide to go through on sixth street, do not fold on the river. If your opponent is bluffing, you have a chance to catch him at it, and you only have to expose a bluff once in a while to make it worth your while to go all the way.