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Texas Hold'em Poker Flop Strategy

Hold'em poker flop strategy is a vast subject that entire books have been written about. In this Hold'em Poker strategy tutorial, we have gathered the most crucial information from the best Hold'em poker books, so you'll be able to develop a strategy similar to professional players.

First we will teach you how to play with each Hold'em poker hand.

Play with two overcards - In this case you should call only if you think there is a substantial possibility of improving your hand by the turn and river.

Top pair - When your flop is a top pair with a high kicker you should raise in order to eliminate competing hands, because your hand may improve by the next rounds, possibly scoring three of a kind or better. But this is not guaranteed, and it is a good flop strategy to take as many players off of the game.

If the kicker is mediocre or bad, you should evaluate if the bet is too risky. If you see a lot of callers around the table it could mean there is a shot of winning the hand.

Pocket pair - If you hold two starting hands that form a pair, then raise if the flop includes an over pair. Inc case you have a lower pair, you should usually fold, unless you think you can draw trips.

Two pair - This is a classic case to use a flop strategy of raising, because a top pair is not always the winner, but is nevertheless a strong hand that should be played with. Always be careful though that the pot doesn’t get too large for you too lose.

If you get a lower two pair, watch for re-raises around the table, as an indicator for another strong hand.

If you have two pair, with one of your hole cards forming the pair with the flop, then you should call, but worry of possible trips around the table. If your hole cards form one of the pairs, then fold if your pair is the lower one.

Trips - The best Hold'em poker flop strategy with trips is to raise in order to eliminate other hands as well as build the pot. As only straights or flushes are a considerable threat, considering trips' hand ranking , you can play with your hand with some, but not complete, confidence.

If you flop trips that consist of two cards on board, also use the raising flop strategy, but take notice of your kicker's rank in case someone else flops trips.

Four cards to a straight of flush - Here you should use cautious flop strategy, and raise if you are drawing to the nut. Sometimes these cases call for calling, as long as the stakes aren’t too high. You are missing only one card, so try at least to call, even if the pot gets a bit on the high side.

Complete hands

Straight - With a straight you can either raise to eliminate other hands and build the pot, or better yet slowplay by checking, and raise only in the final rounds.

Flush - With a flush draw, the right flop strategy is also to raise and slowplay. Slowplay should be used for nut flushes, when your hand is unbeatable.

Full house - A full house calls for slowplay, in order to squeeze as much money out of the other players. In some cases, you should notice for the right timing when the players are too invested in the pot, and then raise, so your opponent has no other option than calling. This is called check-raising and is a highly recommended Hold'em poker post flop strategy.

Quads/Straight flushes - With these hands you should use the same flop strategy as before, and slowplay right into the showdown. By slowplaying you are also deceiving the other players into thinking your hand isn’t that good.

Harry Nilsson - Managing Editor