Tip 20

Perhaps the biggest edge you have over your opponents in lower-limit hold’em games is your ability to fold.  You often find yourself in games in which several players stay until the river, and then whoever winds up with the best hand wins the pot.  If you make it a priority to remain in the hand after the flop only when you hold either the probable best hand or a good draw, you will be miles ahead of some of your opponents.

  Some players believes in “taking one off” after the flop.  That is, even though the flop didn’t necessarily help their hand, they call the cheap bet on the flop hoping to develop some possibilities on Poker Turn card.  The problem with this strategy is that, with several players in the pot, the flop is very likely to have helped somebody.  Often, they flop a hand that requires their chasing opponents to catch runner-runner (two consecutive improving cards) to beat them.  Calling the flop bet in a six-way pot when the best hand you can make on Poker Turn is a pair is nearly always a mistake, even if you hold A-K or A-Q.  Your pair will often be someone else’s two pair or flush card.   So, get out cheap and wait for a better opportunity.

  When you hold a hand that stands a chance of winning unimproved – J-J for example – you don’t need to catch another jack on the flop to stay in the pot.  Flops such as 4-6-T are typically quite good for J-J, so play the hand aggressively.  However, when overcards hit and several players are in the hand, it is time to get out.  A good example of this is when the flop comes K-Q-6 or A-T-8.  Against a large field of opponents, it’s likely that someone has out-flopped you, leaving you with only two outs.  You rarely play for two outs in hold’em.