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Play After the Flop

               As we mentioned earlier, your starting hand decision in Texas hold’em, Though very important, is not the dominating factor that it is in seven-card stud. To be a winner at hold’em, you must play well not only before the flop, but also on the flop and beyond. If your play on the later streets is poor, the best you can hope for is to break even. Following are a few tips that will help you make the correct decisions for play after the flop, which in turn will largely determine your overall success in this complex game.

Tip No.1: Bet most of your draws. Suppose you have two suited card and two more of your suit flop, giving you a flush draw. You usually should bet this hand. (If you don’t bet, you almost always should call.)  Even though your flush draw currently, has no value, betting gives you two ways to win the pot. First, everyone might fold immediately, and second, the flush card might come and you will win anyway.

Tip No.2: If you don’t improve on the flop, be willing to abandon your hand. Suppose you are dealt

Event though this is a good starting hand, there is no guarantee that it will be worth very much once the flop comes. If that is the case, you should abandon it immediately. Failure to do so can prove quite costly.

Tip No.3: It is sometimes necessary to throw away a big pair. When you hold a big pair, you often don’t need to improve your hand to win. But sometimes the flop will be so detrimental that you should fold. For example, suppose you hold


in a seven-handed pot, the flop comes

and there is a bet, a raise, and three callers. Under these circumstances, you should throw your hand away, as there are too many ways that you are beat.

Tip No.4: In multi way  pots, be aware that you might be drawing dead. Suppose the flop is


and you hold

Even though you are trying to make a straight-which is often a very strong hand-you may already be beat by a player who has either jack-seven or queen-jack for a higher straight. In addition, if a jack hits the board, anyone holding a queen will beat you. Clearly, you should throw your hand away in this spot if you are against several opponents.

Tip No.5: Discard small pairs when they miss the flop. Remember, when you play a small pair, you generally must improve to three of a kind. If you don’t improve, your hand has little value and usually should be mucked. As emphasized earlier, the odds against making trips on the flop are almost 8-to-1.

Tip No.6: If you flop a flush draw and a pair also flops, you usually should continue to play. When a pair flops, there is an increased chance that you will run into a full house if you make your flush. Even so, the odds against making your flush with two cards to come are only 2-to-1, and a typical pot offers much more than this.

               Because of the community cards, Texas hold’em can produce some unusual hands, and many combinations can be out. So if you fail to play attention to the board and the prior action, you might mistakenly think you have the winner, when in fact, several other players easily can be holding better hands.

               Here’s an example. Suppose the board is


and you hold

Although you have top pair, which is often a winning hand, if you are against someone who holds

he will beat you with two pair.
    If another player has:

his trips will beat the two pair. In addition, three possible straight can be out. So  if  another opponent holds

and still another has

then all these hands will beat the three tens, but the ace-high straight is, of course, better than the other two. And finally, if someone plays

he will win the pot with a spade flush.

               Incidentally, you normally shouldn’t play a hand like 83 But some people do, and this Is one of the variables that makes the games good. You also must remember that situations like the one just described do occur, and sometimes you have to throw away a good hand ..table

Spread  limit Strategy Changes

The two primary strategy changes provided for spread-limit seven-card stud games are also appropriate for Texas hold’em games Play Poker with spread limits. That is, first of all, you often can see the flop cheaply. This means that you should play a few more hands for the minimum amount, which in a typical $1-$4-$8 hold’em game is either $1or $2 Again, you should consider your position before entering the pot, and if an opponent raises after you have called the blind, you usually should throw away a weak hand.

               And second, if you have a good starting hand, you want some competition. So here again, you usually shouldn’t  raise the maximum before the flop if no one has yet voluntarily entered the pot. Winning only the blind(s) when you hold pocket  kings is not your objective.

Selected Odds

As already pointed out, it is not essential to know the exact odds but only to have a general idea of what your chances are in a particular situation. So like the odds furnished for seven-card stud, those that follow follow for Texas hold’em are provided primarily for their interest alone.

The First Two cards

                                                Starting  Hand                        Odds      

                                                A pair of Aces                          220-to-1

                                                Any  pair                                  220-to-1

                                                Two suited cards 10 or higher     32-to-1    

                                                Two Unsuited Cards 10 or Higher 10-to-1

Other Odds of Interest

  • If you start with two suited cards, the odds against flopping a flush are 118-to-1, while the odds against flopping two flush cards are 8.1-to-1.
  • If you flop a four flush, the odds against completing your flush are 1.9-to-1.
  • If you start with a pair, the odds against flopping three of a kind are 7.5-to-1.
  • If you start with cards of two different ranks, the odds against flopping one pair are 2.1-to-1, the odds against flopping two pair are 48-to-1, and the odds against flopping three of a kind are 73-to-1.

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