Lesson 8: The River
DON’T FORGET TO BET THE RIVER
Do NOT get in the habit of checking on the river simply because you have a good—but not unbeatable—hand. This is another huge mistake that mediocre players frequently make. If you think you had the best hand on the turn you should almost always bet the river, unless the river put a four-flush or a four-straight on the board. Example: you have KsKc, and the flop comes Qc Tc 7s. You bet and get two callers. The turn is the 5s. Again you bet, and again the same two players call. The river brings the 6c.
Lesson 7: The Turn
IF SOMEONE CHECK-RAISES THE TURN IN A MULTI-WAY POT, STRONGLY CONSIDER FOLDING
This may seem to contradict Lesson #5, yet we can assure you it does not. In Lesson #5, we were discussing the merits of checking (thereby taking the risk of giving a ‘free card’ to hands that have draws that can beat you) versus betting. In this case, we’re discussing those times when you’ve bet, and subsequently been raised by a player who initially checked. Now obviously, it always helps to ‘know your opponents’. But in most low limit games, a player will only check-raise the turn for one reason; to get more money into the pot with a very strong hand.
Quiz: How’s Your Play on the Flop? (Part 2)
Welcome to the second flop quiz! As with all the quizzes here, you’ll get the most out of this quiz if you think through why you are answering each question the way you are. If you haven’t taken the first flop quiz yet, take that one first.
Lesson 6: The Turn
DON’T STOP BETTING BECUASE A SCARE CARD HITS
Slowing down on the turn is almost always a huge mistake, especially if nobody has yet shown any signs that the turn card helped them. For example: you have AdAh and there’s 3 other players who see the flop with you. The flop comes Kc Tc 6s. You bet this flop, the first player callers, the next player raises and the third player folds. You reraise, the original caller to your left calls, and the raiser calls. Now the turn brings the 8c.
Quiz: How’s Your Play on the Flop? (Part 1)
This quiz is designed to illustrate some of the more important concepts that govern winning play on the flop. Here’s your chance to put some of your play analysis skills to work so when you answer the questions, we recommend you put some thought into why you are choosing a particular answer and compare your answers with the analysis that follows.
WAIT TO DROP THE HAMMER!!
One of the more unique attributes of low limit hold ’em is that the pots often get so enormous before the flop that anyone who got even a sliver of help from the flop is frequently justified in continuing on with their hand. For the player holding pocket aces, this can be incredibly frustrating, since it can seem like the river brings one miracle card after another—all of which help our opponent without helping you.
Lesson 4: The Flop
IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE BEST HAND, PLAY IT LIKE THE BEST HAND!
The message of this lesson is simple; when you catch a big flop, and you think you have the best hand, don’t be afraid to start dumping money in the middle. There are times when you’d rather hold of on raising until the turn, in hopes that the double sized bets will dissuade your opponents from continuing to the river, but getting as much money as possible in the middle on the flop when you have a big hand can never be that much of a mistake. (We’ll talk about the exception to this in the next lesson).
WHEN YOU MISS THE FLOP, FOLD!
This is where the hand usually defines itself; as a result, the play on the flop is usually more complicated then the play on the previous and future rounds. Although the following are some guidelines, we won’t pretend to have given you everything you need to know here. We could devote five hundred pages to the play on the flop, and still not cover everything.
Quiz: How’s Your Play before the Flop?
Correct preflop play is of vital importance to your overall success. After all, if you’re doing things right, the vast majority of your play will occur before the flop. Note that the questions in this quiz will not ask you things like whether or not you should call, fold or raise with 8 3 offsuit in early position. So if you don’t know the answer to that question, review the preflop lessons as you will not benefit from the information in this quiz. That said, onward!
Lesson 2: Before the Flop
DON’T CALL RAISES BEFORE THE FLOP
This is a huge mistake that most unaware players make time and time again. In fact, calling a raise ‘cold’ (calling two bets before it has been your turn) is such a huge money-loser that it warrants an entire lesson in and of itself. As outlined in Lesson #1, there are very few hands that realize a long-term profit in hold ’em. Following this logic, there are even fewer that show a profit after someone has raised.