Poker is a thinking man’s game. While a small element of luck is involved, it is nothing compared to the skill and strategy you need to succeed. Poker is the farthest from gambling as a casino game can be. Not only is it more skill than luck, but it is also not a get-rich-quick game. Contrary to popular belief, most poker pros do not play to win a big tournament and retire. Poker is their job, and they are committed to it with thousands of hours of experience and knowledge. They understand that poker is a grind and know how to focus on the long run.
If you want to try poker as a beginner, you should not be intimidated. You can learn the basic rules of poker in minutes and try some micro-stakes games to play poker without committing much money. If you want to start improving further, then you’re in luck! The internet has all sorts of resources to help you learn poker, and this poker guide is one of them. It aims to give you actionable tips that you can use in future games, focusing on the post-flop.
What is the post-flop?
This guide is aimed toward newer players, so it is perfectly fine if you do not know what the post-flop is. In a regular game of Texas Holdem, there are five rounds. They are the pre-flop, the flop, the turn, the river, and the showdown. The pre-flop is when each player is dealt two hole cards. The flop is when the first three community cards are dealt, while the turn and river each add an additional card. Finally, the showdown is when the remaining players reveal their cards, and the strongest hand wins. The flop, the turn, the river, and the showdown are collectively referred to as the post-flop. While the pre-flop is more important, you need to have a good grasp on the post-flop play since that is when pots get larger.
Tip 1: Employ measured aggression
Aggression is key to poker. Passive play only gives you one way to win: Having the best hand at the showdown. Being aggressive can make others fold, winning you the pot even with a marginal hand. It also forces your opponents’ to make tough decisions like whether to call, raise, or fold your bets. That gives you information about their hand strength, another essential part of poker. However, while aggression should be your default strategy, you must learn when to balance it. Betting and raising indiscriminately with every hand is not a solid strategy and can lose you large amounts of money quickly. You must bet with both bluffs and good hands to make yourself less predictable.
Tip 2: Don’t be afraid to fold
Whenever you’re deep into a pot you have committed a lot to, it can be tough to let your hand go and accept your loss. It is crucial to remember that you’re never stuck in the pot. If things go south like missing a draw, folding is better than calling a large bet and losing at the showdown. It always hurts to fold after contributing a lot to the pot, but you shouldn’t obsess over singular hands. As mentioned before, poker is all about the long run, so don’t lose your cool and tilt after one bad game.
Tip 3: Continuation bet
The continuation bet is one of the most infamous techniques in poker. It is when the pre-flop aggressor (the person who made the last aggressive action pre-flop) proceeds to bet again on the flop, continuing their aggression from the pre-flop. Regardless of how you hit the flop, the continuation bet is a sound tactic for multiple reasons. It’s a great show of strength that will often take down the pot since your opponent is unlikely to have connected with it. It also serves as a good value bet and gives valuable information depending on how they react to it. You should start using them if you aren’t already. You can even make a continuation bet on rounds besides the flop, known as double barreling.
Tip 4: Understand flop texture
Analyzing the flop will let you prepare for your opponents’ possible hands and guess how they may act. To do this, you can use the concept of “flop texture.” A flop is said to be “wet” when there is a high chance of someone having a strong hand, like two pair and above. A flop is said to be “dry” when it is unlikely someone will make a monster hand, and high cards or pairs will instead win the pot. These flops require drastically different strategies, like smaller bet sizes but higher frequency on dry flops. Pay attention to flop texture whenever you bet.
Tip 5: Be prepared for multiway pots
Finally, the last tip is to understand multiway pots. These are pots with more than two players, and they play very differently. Multiway pots are more volatile since with each added player comes a higher chance of someone having a monster hand. Your overall chance of winning decreases, and it is common to prioritize hands with draw potential over high cards and pairs. You must be aware of and prepared for multiway pots, and if you do not want to navigate them, adjust your pre-flop strategy to include more aggression.
The best place to practice
We hope this article taught you tips you can use in your poker games. If you want to get better, you should play on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. They offer a poker tracker and heads-up display, indispensable software that analyzes your gameplay to help you improve. Online poker lets you play more games in less time and is easier to access.