Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How To Adjust To Different Flops In Poker Tournaments

When playing poker you will face flops with different textures. We already know that we are supposed to go to the flop being the aggressor in a hand, so we will talk about different flop situations in Texas Holdem and how to handle them as the aggressor.  

Wet flops

If we missed a wet flop, we should not fire a continuation bet too often. In a flop like Jh-Th-8s, our opponent/s will have a made hand and/or a draw very often so it’s unlikely to get a fold.

On the other hand, when we flop something, we should be betting big to put a high price for speculative hands like a flush draw.  

Dry flops

Dry flops should be played in a whole different way than wet flops. Why? Mainly because our opponent/s would have missed the flop very often.

Therefore, we should be betting with a high frequency when we miss the flop. The sizing can be small, given that there are not draws in a board such as Jc-3d-3h and many hands will fold the same amount of time against a 40%-pot bet as to a 70%-pot bet.

On the other hand, if we flop something big, such as having Ac-Kd in a Ks-7d-3c flop, we might consider slow-playing our hand to give our opponent a chance to hit something on the turn and/or river. However, avoid slow-playing when many turn/river cards can hurt your hand, for example if you hold Ts-9s on a 9c-5h-2d flop.

Ace-high flops

An Ace-high flop is always good to make a continuation bet because, whether or not we have an Ace, there are many of them in our range so we will get many folds. Sometimes, we can check our top pair in certain flops, however remember to balance your range between bluffing and value betting or your opponent/s will easily read you in future hands.

King-high flops work in a similar way, however expect to get less folds on a K-2-2 board than on A-2-2.  

Playing against multiple opponents

Remember that 2 main things occur when playing a flop against 2 or more opponents:

a) The value of your hand shrinks, because somebody will have something that beats you more often than on a heads-up flop.
 b) Your bluffs will not work very often, because somebody is likely to hit any flop more often than a single opponent will.