Studying Your Hand Potential – The Flop

Ah, the flop. We love flops, you know. No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em is such a fun game, because a lot of players give away what they’re holding right at the flop. You can always tell that the person raising like 10BB has a monster hand — and he’s also a newbie nearly half the time if not more often. You don’t want to flash exactly what you’ve got because then people are just going to fold. Unless you just want to spend the whole game taking tiny pots, you want to spice things up a little. And that means actually having a clue of what your hand potential really is.

So let’s look at a flop, shall we?

9h 9d 2h

Nine of hearts, nine of diamonds, followed by the two of hearts. If you’re holding 82s and both cards are hearts, you’ve got a nice run on a flush. However, the trouble with getting too excited about your flush is that you can still be beaten by 5 other cards here. So if you get to the showdown and someone flips over a 10, J, Q, K, or A of hearts, you’re done for.

So for the moment, you actually have a nice hand potential. Even if you don’t catch the flush, you’ve still got two pair. The only trouble is that it’s not the strongest two pair — it is at the moment, but that could honestly change.

Many players have pushed into a pot like this hard, only to find that the turn or the river betrays them. That’s why it’s often better to go with smaller raises until you know for certain who is serious, who isn’t serious, and who will back down from you.

By the way, you should always be looking at the other people closely in the hand. Do they have a pattern of folding to pressure? Do they bluff? Do they play weak hands? This should all be part of your analysis. Yes, in the beginning you might seem “slow” but in time, you will catch up and be able to be a much stronger player in the long run.

It can take time to study all these different components quickly, but if you really want to improve your poker game, you need to look at more than just your hand. If you’re playing weak hands in hopes that you’re going to catch a freak flop, that needs to stop as well. You really want to make sure that you’re always playing your best hands — especially if you’re in a tournament where you can’t buy back in. Getting busted out means that you miss a chance at the money. Staying in and folding is better than going big and busting out hard. Trust us on that score.

Overall, there is always hope in raising your poker game, so don’t give up. Ask people online, practice your hands, and don’t ever think for a second that you don’t have what it takes to be a good poker player. Good luck out there!

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