Texas hold em poker is the most popular variation in the poker family. Texas hold em requires a player to find a good balance of both luck and skill in order to make it to the end.
The flop is the part of a Texas hold em game that happens right after the first round of betting is completed. The flop shows the players the first three of the five community cards. Learning how to bet both before and after the flop is vital to the success of any aspiring poker player.
Before the flop ever hits the table, you need to figure out how strong your hand is and how much you are willing to risk to see the first three cards. If you are not prepared to risk at least three times the big blind then you should probably fold the hand. After all, you don’t want to keep losing your chips because you call the big blind but can’t justify calling someones pre-flop raise.
When you are playing Texas hold em poker, you want to bet your hole cards to drive others out of the hand that might otherwise catch a low straight or flush draw. If you are sitting on pocket queens, kings, or aces, you will want to make a descent size raise before the flop ever hits the table. This will force all the players who were dealt hands like four – nine off suit to make a decision. In most situations, these players will fold their hand leaving you to battle it out with just a few people. This makes your odds of winning the hand far greater.
Let’s assume that you stayed with a pair of queens, and a four – six – seven comes up on the flop. In most situations you have the game well in hand at this point. You made a good raise pre-flop and hopefully scared out all of the players who would have caught a hand with the cards that have come up so far.
At this point in the Texas hold em poker game, you have to ask yourself where you would like to go from here. You can either play it sake and bet hard into the pot (which will probably get all of the remaining players to fold), or you can hope your hand stays strong and make just a small bet with the hopes that the remaining players call. If you bet big, the pot is most likely yours; this will give you enough chips to see several more hands. If you bet small, you are basically betting that your hand will hold up in an attempt to rake in more chips.
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No matter what you decide, you must be prepared for a call. Even if you have pocket queens at this point, it might not always be the best choice to push all in because someone else just might be sitting on pocket rockets (pocket aces) or they might have even called with a low pocket pair and caught trips. A good bet in this situation if you are trying to buy the pot is about ten times the big blind or twice the total pot value, whichever is more.
In Texas hold em poker, you will win some, and you will lose some. Just follow a few of these tips and make good decisions. You should do just fine in any Texas hold em poker format.