Texas Hold’em – After the Flop

You’ve decided that your starting hand is strong enough to continue to play, and you’ve matched the blind and any raises to see the flop. You’ve entered the area which will determine how far you go – the crucial stage in Texas hold’em.

If you’ve entered the flop with two suited cards and the flop contains two more of your suited cards you should definitely bet. While your hand currently has no value, there are two reasons why you should bet as if it did. First, you may get that fifth card for the flush, which will give you an almost certain winner. Second, by betting, you may chase some or all of the other players out of the game, allowing you to steal the pot. If you don’t improve your hand on the flop, it’s probably a good idea to fold and look ahead to the next hand. In most hold’em games, you’ll encounter a raise on the betting round following the flop. If you’re dealt something like there’s not a lot that can happen in subsequent rounds that will improve your hand sufficiently. And with two suited cards on board, you may be blocking a flush by an opponent.

Occasionally you’ll have a great starting hand, such as a high pair, but the cards that fall from the flop do you no good. Even worse, they seem to have helped one of your opponents to a hand that will crush your pair unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money to find out whether your opponent has a straight, a flush, or even worse, a straight flush, you have to bite the bullet and throwaway your pair.
Like high pairs that face a completely different situation on the flop that may aid an opponent, low pairs that aren’t helped by the flop should usually be folded. For instance, if you hold it’s going to cost you substantial bets and rai es to ee the last two cards, and the chances are that you’re not aoine to match those Sixes. Save your money and get out gracefully. When you’re drawing for a flush, and a pair how on the flop, you should continue to play, even though ‘ou may be eventually beaten by a full house.

If your opponent has a three in the hole, or another pair, he simply has to match one more card to obtain his full house. But because you’re only facing 2-1 odds, although you’ll lose to a full house, the risk is worth it. Sometimes, you may get what you’re hoping for, but by observing the betting of other players, you have to conclude that what you have probably isn’t enough to win. For instance, if you hold you’re working on a flush, which in most cases is a valuable hand. But if someone is holding a Five-Nine in the hole, there’s a good chance you’ll get beat. Or even worse, a Nine-Ten will be almost unbeatable.

Because Texas hold’em uses the five community cards, there are many combinations of cards possible, creating many different hands. That’s why it’s very important to pay attention to the community cards and the action taken by all the players to be able to discern exactly what hand your opponents are pursuing, or what hands they actually have.

The following hand will demonstrate how the game unfolds and the possible results of each hand. This is a perfect illustration of how you must be aware of all the potential hands created by the community cards, and the players’ individual hole cards.

In Texas hold’em, it is important to understand the relationship between the cards on the table and the cards in your hand. It is rare to hold a hand that couldn’t be beaten by someone else playing that hand. Sometimes when it appears you can be beaten, you may be holding a card that can block your opponents hands. Maintaining your composure, and examining every possible outcome of a particular hand, is crucial to success in hold’em.