Top Postflop Strategy Tips for Texas Hold’emPostflop strategy refers to all decisions made after the three initial community cards are revealed.
What you do in the postflop betting round could affect your game in the turn and the river. Make a wrong move, and you could become a target for sharks in the rounds to come.
Read the following tips and strategies to master your postflop game and avoid the common pitfalls.
- Go for the Pot Size Based on Your Hand Strength
- Position Matters More Than Before the Flop
- Recognize Opponents’ Strong and Weak Hands
- Don’t Tilt
- Best Poker Rooms
Try to Go for the Pot Size Based on Your Hand StrengthIf you already managed to make a strong hand on the flop, it’s time to find a way to cash it in by making the pot big. This will require carefully analyzing your opponents’ play styles and luring the loose players to sweeten the deal without overplaying your hand.
But what if you have a mid-strength holding? The goal is to avoid folding as long as possible while not losing too many chips. Too many checks and calls could give you away, but pulling off a maniac when there’s no reason to would be an easy see-through for your bluff.
You don’t need to have a made hand postflop to try to start thinking about the ideal pot size. If you’re feeling brave, draws or even backdoor draws should be a reason good enough to stay in the game. In such cases, of course, fold only if the pot size becomes too large to take a risk.
Position Now Matters More Than Before the FlopImagine a ten-player table. Everyone has made a move except for the last player, whose turn it is to decide what to do. This player gained much info based on other players’ decisions compared to the early-position competitors.
After the flop is revealed, it matters even more whether you’re one of the UTGs or a button player. In addition to the information collected preflop, you now know how your competitors reacted based on the flop cards.
Does that mean you’re out of action if you’re out of position? Should you fold whenever you’re UTG and play every cutoff or button position? Well, poker would be as easy as ABC if that were the case.
The goal is to objectively understand the state of other players based on the previous information and your hole cards. If things look great, and you already have a strong hand, playing OOP is a logical step, but there’s a thin line between this and donking. A professional poker player would take all possible postflop outcomes before making a move, and the position is often the main thing navigating these scenarios.
Learn How to Recognize Possible Scenarios
Imagine this. You hold a 9 and a 10 of hearts in your hand, and the flow shows 8h, 5d, and 2d. An inexperienced player might immediately overlook the real value, but a shark might see several backdoor draws. Firing a continuation bet might be logical, provided the pot isn’t too high.
But you also need to develop a strategy for the following two streets — at least, that’s what professionals do. They already know all possible scenarios and how to behave. Barrelling the turn will most likely happen if you get one of the following cards:
- 7, 6, 9, 10
- Any hearts card
Any of these cards, save a 9 or a 10, would help you convert your backdoor draw into a draw, requiring a completely new approach on the river.
A professional poker player is much like being a chess master, as they understand all possible scenarios immediately, especially after the flop. Most experts have an overview of all betting strategies planned for the two final streets after seeing the flop cards, even if that strategy means folding.
Recognize Opponents’ Strong and Weak HandsRecognizing and exploiting opponents’ range of weaknesses and strengths is key to postflop strategy. Your opponent’s betting behavior might indicate some weaknesses that you can take advantage of.
For example, if the opponent checks twice or fails to make a continuation bet as the aggressor, it’s a good giveaway that the opponent has a weak range. If the flop opens up a way for various draws and the opponent calls, this could indicate that they don’t have a very strong hand.
Skipping a c-bet sometimes might not be recognized as a weakness but as slowplay. Most players don’t know how to pull off a slow play, so missing their c-bet is probably just an indication of weakness rather than using a strategy.
You should consider these concrete examples to see if the opponent sits strong. Whenever they make a triple barrel on a flop, turn, or river (not counting min-bets), it shows strength. This also applies to turn and river raising (2bet) and flop re-raising (3bet). In this case, it would be a good idea to decide what the weakest value hand villain might hold and fold if your hand doesn’t match it.
Don’t TiltFolding preflop is easy, as you have invested the bare minimum. This also means you haven’t emotionally invested yourself in the game. Once the flop cards are shown, the overall atmosphere shifts to a higher gear, and we shouldn’t tilt under pressure, making decisions that can affect our strategy.
Cultivating a healthy poker mindset requires going through hundreds of tilt-invoking situations and recognizing our response pattern. Your mental game will improve when paired with a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits.
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Final ThoughtsTo sum up, the postflop is where the real action begins. It’s where you already need to start developing possible scenarios, carefully examining actions from your opponents. It all comes down to this: watch closely what moves they make based on the three flop cards and what other players do.
When should I fold postflop?
Additionally, you should consider folding if you have a pair in your hand and see two overcards hit the board.It’s necessary to understand whether you have the drawing potential and see how big the pot is to decide whether to risk or fold.