Limit Texas Hold'em: Playing the Flop

The flop is a defining moment in Texas Hold'em as five out of seven possible cards are seen. It is crucial that you determine the relative strength of your hand before you play further.

A lot of players consider the turn to be a more important betting round since the bets are doubled, but it is often the mistakes you make on the flop that lead to further mistakes on the turn and river. For example, you might decide to draw for the low end of a straight and end up losing to a higher straight when you hit.

The Main Flops

In order to simplify things, there are just a few types of flops that you should learn how to play. Look out for these flops and try to memorize them all, as they each present different threats and opportunities.

  1. Three of a kind
  2. High pair
  3. Low pair
  4. Two-suited
  5. Three-suited
  6. Two-connected
  7. Three-connected
  8. All high cards
  9. Rainbow with one high card
  10. Rainbow of all rags

What to Consider When Deciding Whether to Check, Bet, Call or Raise:

  • How strong a hand did you flop?
  • Number of players (hard to bluff in a four-handed pot)?
  • Did anyone raise before the flop and, if so, who and from what position (expect a follow-through)?
  • What pot odds do you have (the size of the pot vs. how many outs you have)?
  • What kinds of draws (if any) are on the board?
  • What kind of hands are the other players likely to have?
  • What position do you have (the later the better)?

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