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Playing Postflop (2): Against the Preflop Aggressor
Before reading this lesson, you should have read through:
- Playing Preflop (1): Open Raising
- Preflop Strategy (1): Open Raising Charts
- Playing Postflop (1): As the Preflop Aggressor
In the previous lesson, you have learned how to play postflop if you have the initiative on your side. However, it is crucial to understand how postflop works when it is the other player who raised before the flop, or when no one did. This lesson will focus on playing against your opponents' continuation bets. A scenario when the preflop aggressor doesn't make a c-bet (including spots when you don't let him to do this by donk betting), will be explained in the next lesson.
It will be assumed that the pot is heads-up. If the pot is multiway and you have no initiative, you should play very cautiously and straightforward (according to your hand strength), and so it does not make much sense to analyse this in detail.
It will also be assumed that your opponent is a regular player. If he is not, your default play without the initiative should be straightforward as well, and the exceptions to that rule are too specific to be generalised.
Your perceived range and the board texture
The most common scenario is that someone open raised and you called. The first thing you should ask yourself is how the other player perceives your range.
As it was assumed, your opponent is a thinking regular, which means it is very possible that he will be capable of putting you on a reasonable range of hands in general. For this reason, your perceived range in these spots is often what your actual range is. The common denominator in all spots where you defend by flatting is that your range is weighted much more towards suited and connected cards and less towards high cards. In most cases, it is capped, meaning you rarely just flat with a high pocket pair or an ace-king type hand. On the other hand, your opponent's range contains high cards with a higher relative frequency, but has less connected type hands.
As a result, the lower and the more coordinated a board is, the more you should perceive it as a good one for your range. You are able to take over many pots in such instances, as your range connects with these kinds of boards better than your opponent's range. Note: those are exactly the same boards that were mentioned in the previous lesson as the ones which are bad to c-bet on. This is for the exact same reason.
An example of a bad board for the flatter:
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