Playing after the flop poses significant challenges for many players because of the high level of skill and risk it requires. In fact, many people will go "all-in" pre-flop just so they don't have to "really" play post-flop. However, post-flop play is where you can establish your dominance at the table, win most of your pots, and maximize your poker profits.
Even though post-flop play is the key to success when playing poker, it is a skill that most poker players are not expert at.
Think about the last few times you've played poker. Think about what you did during each hand – what you did right and what you did wrong. The quickest, most sure-fire way to improve your poker game is to play as much as you can, and then analyze how you played so you'll do better the next time.
In this article we will look into three post-flop strategies that will greatly enhance your game. If you stay on the tables long enough and analyze your play, you will easily discover these on your own. You can consider this a money-saving shortcut. Here are the tips:
1. Be Continuously Aggressive
After the flop, make sure that you don't show any weakness. If you are confident that you have the best hand pre-flop, and the flop yields nothing but rags, you probably still do. For example, let's say that you are dealt big slick (Ace-King) and the flop comes 2, 5, 8. If you bet strong before the flop (as you should have), it is likely that the flop didn't help anyone.
Also, if the turn card is yet another small or unimportant card, don't be afraid to fire out another strong bet. It takes guts to fire out two bets and your opponents will rarely put you on a bluff after two strong moves. So, make sure that you stay aggressive even if the flop does not help you. Since bad flops usually help no one, when you remain aggressive, you can usually scare away your competition and take the pot.
2. Remember Pre-Flop Action
There are many players who will see small flops and turns as a way to buy a pot.
Let's say a player calls a bet before the flop, then checks after, and checks on the turn. If the river is also unexciting, but the player leads out for a big bet, chances are he's bluffing.
Always think back to how other opponents played earlier in the hand when you think about how to play your cards.
3. Raise And Re-Raise
You will never be a very successful poker player if you just call bets. It is especially tough when a player with a weak hand call bets all the way down the line. Then, when they are beaten by another weak hand, they immediately realize that a raise could have won the hand.
If you have a mediocre hand, don't just call a bet – raise the pot and force others out of the hand. If your opponents re-raise you, chances are you are beaten and you should fold. If you have a good hand, continue to bet more and more after each card. This will make it too expensive for weak hands to chase possible straight or flush draws and will increase the pot size for you to win.
It all sounds fairly simple, but you can be amazed by the amount of people that don’t follow these simple rules either because they don’t know them, or they don’t remember sticking to them during a tense playing session. If you keep in the back of your mind next time you sit at a poker table, you could be at a significant advantage.