Learn Texas Hold Em- Lesson Five
The Flop Decision- it’s crunch time
As previously discussed, the decision you make now defines what level of player you are. So based on all the mathematical and psychological factors we have discussed you basically have three options: Get Out Think about it a little longer then GET OUT
Option 1 is the most simple one by far if you have a weak hand with little chance of improvement then simply fold. This option is a simple one and if you stick to this rule it will save you A LOT of money of your lifetime.
If you are considering Option 2 then the chances are you have a hand that you suspect is not winning or the odds of you improving it are high (inside straight draw would be a nice example here). In this scenario if someone bets into you then you should also fold.
As a general rule of thumb when drawing to a hand (waiting for 1/2 cards to give you a flush/straight etc.), if the odds of you hitting it multiplied by the size of the bet equals less than the pot then you do not have pot odds and should fold. Example: You have 2 hearts in your hand, the flop brings 2 more hearts so only need one more to make your flush. The odds of you hitting the flush on the flop are roughly 2/1 so if the pot is equal to 3 times the bet (2/1 returns 2 times what you bet) then it is an even money call. If the odds are 5/1 to improve your hand and the pot is only 3 times the bet then you should not call as you do not have pot odds.
You can use our basic Pot odds calculator here, as we have mentioned there are better automated tools on the market that can make these decisions for you to help you get started. See our tools section for more info.
Option 3 BET! If you have played two cards of the same suit and hit a flush here or maybe played a pair and hit a 3 of a kind then bet. If you get greedy and slow play the pot by letting other users doing the betting then you have only yourself to blame if you lose it. At least you you bet it and lose you cannot say that.
On the other hand, if you haven’t made your hand yet and the pot is large enough to give you pot odds then you should also bet. However if you are in a very weak position then perhaps not, if another player bets and you still have pot odds then simply call.
The main point of betting is to protect your hand and one effective deterrant is to make the bet large enough so that if they are looking to improving their hand they do not have pot odds. In other words, make the bet a decent percentage of the pot.
If there are 2 cards of the same suit out, someone may well be tempted to call. Once you know what the odds of them hitting roughly are, you can adjust your bet accordingly.
Example: Odds of completing a flush on the turn card roughly 2/1. Pot size $100 (including whatever you bet). For them to call your bet would need to be less than one third of $100 (less than $33). By making your bet over this amount, you deny them any value in the bet and if they were to call, this would be a bad decision.
If you continue to play the odds in Poker you will win money. If you fail to play the odds, you will lose money. After the flop is dealt there is another round of betting before the turn card is dealt.
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