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Learn the Isolation Play in New "Poker Strategy Power Moves" Video
Take five minutes to learn the isolation play, a simple but essential component of good beginner poker strategy.
In the latest episode of Poker Strategy Power Moves we break down the isolation play one step at a time and explain why it's such an important concept.
At its most basic, it refers to betting or raising rather than calling preflop, in order to limit the number of opponents you'll have to face after the flop.
A big part of being able to win pots without making a big hand is by avoiding multi-way pots. The more players in the pot, the more likely one of them will make a hand they won't be willing to fold.
Punish the Limpers
It's always better to raise than call before the flop and that's all you have to do to execute the isolation play. If one or more players limp in front of you and you're in position, don't be tempted to limp in behind.
Before you know it the blinds have gotten in on the hand and there's a five-way pot. If you miss the flop it's really tough to win against four other players.
If you raise before the flop instead, you'll probably push the blinds out of the hand and force the original limpers to either fold or call with a lot of marginal hands.
Against one or two players it'll get checked to you on a lot of flops and you can take down the pot with a simple continuation bet.
Protect Your Big Hands
The isolation play is also useful when you have big hands like pocket aces or kings.
These are great hands but if you let too many people see the flop, there's a good chance it won't be the best hand come showdown.
Make sure to raise or re-raise before the flop and limit the number of players trying to run you down.