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StrategyFixed Limit

How to play on the flop

How do you play on the flop?

In this article
  • Always bet with good cards
  • With monsters apply maximum pressure
  • How to play draws

After reading this article Evaluate your hand on the flop?, you will know what types of hand you can hold after seeing the first three community cards. We will now deal with how to play on the Flop - the second round of betting.

Your strategy is based on a simple principle:

  • Only bet with strong hands.
  • Fold weak hands.
  • Only continue to play a hand if the chances of completing the draw are substantial.

This may sound very straightforward, but many players lose the most money during this phase. With strong hands they try to trick their opponents, instead of filling up the pot. With weak hands, they stay in the hand too long, hoping to hit a lucky card. They also bluff too frequently. When playing on the low limits, it is very difficult to bluff, because the opposition will often call with weak hands.

Video: Fixed-Limit Flop Play
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Watch Video

You can also watch the content of this article in video format. Simply click the picture in order to open the video.

You should still read the article to ensure that you have completely understood the strategy. Your bankroll will be grateful.

How do you play a made hand?

MONSTER (TWO-PAIR OR BETTER)

With a two pair or better, your strategy is simple: you raise as often as you can. Your hand is very strong, so full speed ahead!

Before the flop - 10 players
You are in
late position with
  • One player calls.
  • You raise.
  • A blinds player re-raises.
  • The other players call.
On the flop - active players: 3
  • The blinds player bets.
  • The other players call.
  • Now it's your turn...

With a monster like the three-of-a-kind in this example, you should go for action directly in the flop. For one, you want to increase the pot size, over and above which, you want to get draws to pay for the community cards.

TOP PAIR OR AN OVERPAIR

With a top pair or an overpair you bet or raise exactly once. If another player raises however, we merely call.

Before the flop - 10 players
You are in
late position with
  • One player calls.
  • You call.
  • The Big Blind checks.
On the flop - active players: 3
  • The Big Blind checks.
  • The other player bets.
  • Now it's your turn...

On the flop you hit a top pair. Should that happen, no opponent would like to bet. But in the example, first one player checked, and then the other bet. The correct move here would be to raise.

With a top pair, you should bet or raise on the flop exactly one time. Should someone raise again after you, you should only call.

Strategy  

Monster (two pair or better)

  • Bet and raise as often as possible.

Top pair or Overpair

  • You bet or raise just once.
  • If an opponent raises after you, just call.

How do you play unfinished hands / draws?

Your strategy for playing incomplete hands depends on how likely it is that they will become complete, that is, how many possible community cards will help you.

MONSTER DRAW

Monster draws are very strong hands, because there are many cards (15) which will complete your hand.

If you have a monster draw, that is both a straight and a flush draw, there is a very good chance your hand will become a made hand. Your strategy for playing monster draws: bet and raise as often as you can.

Before the flop - 10 players
You are the Big Blind with
  • 4 players call.
  • You check.
On the flop - active players: 5
  • You bet.
  • Someone raises after you.
  • All players call the raise.
  • Now it's your turn.

In this example, you get an OESD and a flushdraw - a monster draw - on the flop. The aim with this sort of hand is to get as much money in the pot on the flop itself. This means: you raise.

FLUSHDRAW, OESD OR DOUBLE GUTSHOT

Flushdraw, OESD and double gutshot hands are all strong draws. They are not as strong as monster draws, but sufficiently strong to justify playing them aggressively, and they will bring you the most profit.

With each of these draws you bet or raise exactly once. If another player raises after that, just call. Further betting here would be excessive and incorrect.

Before the flop - 10 players
You are the Small Blind with
  • 2 players call.
  • You raise.
  • The Big Blind and the two other players call.
On the flop - active players: 4
  • You bet.
  • One player folds.
  • One calls.
  • Another player raises.
  • It's your turn...

With a flush draw, here even with overcards, you bet or raise on the flop once. In this example you bet. Finally, someone raises after you. While you would continue raising with a monster draw, with a flush draw, you simply call any raises.

GUTSHOT OR OVERCARDS

Gutshots and Overcards are not particularly strong draws. They are generally not worth playing, but there are exceptions.

If you raise before the flop and on the flop there are a maximum of two opponents, you should bet with the aim of getting them to fold.

If the opponent bets or raises, you should only call if the pot is at least 10 times the amount to be called.

Before the flop - 10 players
You are in late position with
  • 2 players call.
  • You call.
  • The big Blind checks.
On the flop - active players: 4 - Pot: 4.5 Small Bets
  • One opponents bets.
  • Now it's your turn...

In this example you have a gutshot. An opponent bets. Whether you can call the bet or not, depends on the size of the pot. This is 4.5 Small Bets. The opponent adds 1 additional Small Bet to the pot.

The pot should be at least 10x the size of the bet i.e. 10 Small Bets. That means, that in this situation, you should fold. The pot is not big enough.

GUTSHOT + OVERCARDS

These two weak draws combined make a strong draw. You should play this like a Flushdraw or an OESD. You bet or raise once. If there's a raise after you, call.

Before the flop - 10 players
You're in middle position with
  • A player calls.
  • You raise.
  • 3 players call your raise.
On the flop - active players: 4
  • A player bets.
  • Another player calls it.
  • It's your turn now...

As mentioned earlier, you should do the following with a flush draw or an OESD: You raise once. If someone re-raises after you, you simply call it in the hope that you will hit a top-pair or a straight later on.

STRATEGY  

Monsterdraw

  • Bet and raise as often as you can.

Flushdraw, OESD or double Gutshot

  • You bet or raise just once.
  • If an opponent raises after you, just call.

Gutshot or Overcards

  • You bet if you raised before the flop, and there are at most two opponents.
  • You call a bet or raise if the pot is at least 10 times the size of the amount to be called

Gutshot + Overcards

  • You bet or raise just once.
  • If an opponent raises after you, just call.

How do you play worthless hands?

On the flop you will often have a worthless hand, with no pair or better and no significant draw. If this is the case, your play is simple: invest no more money. However, there is an exception:

If you raised before the flop and are now against two opponents at most, bet once. You should bluff and try to get the opponents to fold, since they won't have a winning draw either. However, if an opponent bets before you or raises, you should let go of the hand.

Before the flop - 10 players
You are in late position with
  • A player calls.
  • You raise.
  • 2 players call the raise.
On the flop - active players: 3 - pot: 6.5 Small Bets
  • Both opponents check.
  • You're on...

Summary

This article teaches you how to play each of the possible hands profitably. The general principle to follow is of applying pressure with strong hands and letting go of weak ones.

The following article: Turn and river - The third and fourth betting rounds ends this betting rounds section and teaches you how to play after the Turn and River cards are dealt.

 

Comments (17)

#1 styc0, 15 Apr 08 18:33

e

#2 washus, 26 May 08 16:07

Is the answer to question 7 right? Please check this.

#3 WIngman311, 26 May 08 18:15

Great Site! After playing on line in many Freerolls & but in tourney's this iste has for sure brought the "basic" back inot mind after playing shall we say with lots of "chasers" & donks on line...

#4 Solosann, 29 May 08 20:03

hi SOlos here

#5 iCeBAx, 01 Jun 08 16:27

Kosse Nanat ,, Tnx

#6 iCeBAx, 01 Jun 08 16:27

Kosse Nanat ,, Tnx

#7 mouse89, 28 Sep 08 15:25

ok

#8 Dan279, 20 Oct 08 19:18

Q7 is definetly correct

#9 gambit44s, 18 Oct 09 16:05

yes you're getting 10-1 on your money and you have up to 6 outs ofcourse you call

#10 PeterCross, 28 May 11 08:36

Am I right to think that even in a late position with 87s, I should fold rather than call (unlike in the 'gutshot or overcards' example)?

#11 dusicahetzel, 24 Jun 11 14:30

its part fo different strategyes..

#12 Gnillperker, 31 Mar 12 20:40

Question: If you have a weak pair (say 44)and the flop comes up A A 9 and the player before you bet, the others fold, and your on the button. What do?

#13 kam2112, 22 Jun 12 16:29

if we were the raiser before the flop and we only have one opponent we bet a middle pair or not?if we have two or more?

#14 kam2112, 22 Jun 12 16:30

i mean two or more opponents

#15 arturs2148RNMD, 08 Mar 13 15:37

good

#16 Rthai, 01 Apr 13 05:05

Thanks. Excited to learn how to play the turn and river and actually start playing some FL

#17 Ntobek4Kwazi, 10 May 13 08:21

good, nice 1 for playing turn...

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