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StrategyFixed Limit

Post-flop: How to Play Made Hands on the Flop


Video: Click here

Introduction

In this article
  • How to choose the right line on the flop
  • How to determine the strength of your hand
  • Individual hand categories in detail
 

The flop is, without question, a decisive moment in a poker hand. You need to estimate your hand's strength as accurately as possible in order to make the correct decisions afterwards.

You can either have a made hand, a draw, or absolutely nothing once the flop has been revealed. We won't bother discussing trash hands, since there isn't much to say other than, "fold."

You don't want to just fold when you have a made hand or a draw. But you can't know how to play such a hand if you don't know exactly how strong it is and where you stand with it.

We will start by discussing how to play made hands after the flop. Drawing hands will be covered in their own article, which can be found here: How do You Play Draws on the Flop?

A made hand is a hand that has real showdown value, meaning it is strong enough to win a showdown. K high can even be a made hand in theory, since it beats Q high and all weaker hands, but overcards are generally treated as drawing hands.

A lot of weak made hands like bottom/middle pair are also often seen as drawing hands on the flop. They can, however, have showdown value when you are facing weak opponents.

The strength of a hand depends on a number of factors. In other words, you can't play every hand the same way in every situation. There are a number of factors to be analyzed before you make your decision.

Take the following quiz to test your knowledge: 

How to play made hands on the flop

Which line should you play?

Before you make your decision on the flop, ask yourself how likely you are to have the best hand in the present situation. The following chart shows you how to then decide on the best line:

overview_flopplay

Your decision on the flop is based on how likely you think you are to have the best hand.

  • Certain: You have a very strong hand. You bet and raise all the way to the cap to get as much money in to the pot as possible.

  • Fairly certain: You have a strong hand. You bet and raise to protect your hand. You will usually just call when someone raises behind you in order to induce bluffs. If, however, the flop is draw heavy and you can protect your hand with a raise, you raise.

  • Possible: You have a weak/medium strength hand that could be ahead but is probably already beaten. You bet to find out where you stand with your hand and to protect in case you are ahead. If a player raises behind you, you continue playing according to odds and outs.

  • Very unlikely: You don't have a made hand. You evaluate your draw and play according to odds and outs. You can read more in this article: How to Play Drawing Hands on the Flop?

When choosing your line, keep in mind that there are exactly two reasons to invest money:

  • You are favored to win: You are certain that you have the best hand and bet (for value and/or protection).

  • Your opponents are likely to fold: You don't think you are likely to have the best hand, but you do think your opponents are likely to fold to a raise.

 

That's not the entire article...

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Comments (7)

#1 styc0, 15 Apr 08 18:35

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#2 manwithn0name, 20 Apr 08 00:12

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#3 mouse89, 06 Oct 08 14:39

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#4 Pirokunn, 05 Feb 09 19:41

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#5 mancamanca, 26 Apr 10 18:01

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#6 Pouserly2, 12 Aug 11 09:22

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#7 Harnas31, 18 Sep 11 19:48

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