Tournament Practice Flops

How to bet?

How to play and read the flop?

Reading the flop correctly is very crucial for determining the strength of the hand and how to play it. It is very important to play the flop correctly because very few hands reach to the river. In no-limit hold'em, many experienced players prefer winning the pot either before the flop or on the flop.

This section represents some flops which would put you into a thought process and also help you to determine how to bet and play certain kinds of hands when different kinds of flops are dealt. Also always remember that reading the flop correctly will often make you win most of the time. At the same time, reading your rivals' hands correctly will also be profitable for you over a long period of time. However, this needs lot of experience and much of vigilant ability.

Also remember that the following factors affect how you play and bet any hand you are dealt.

•  The betting action before the flop.

•  The strength of your hand.

•  The betting action in front of you on the flop.

•  The number of players who can act after you.

•  The nature of your rivals.

We shall delve into some poker tournament practice flops and also into the thought process which will guide you to take the best possible decision on how to play your hand and bet different types of hands for each flop.

Whenever you look at the flop, ask yourself the following questions:

•  What is the nut hand for this flop?

•  What are the possible drawing hands which would make the nuts on the turn or river?

•  Who might have the best hand or a draw to it?

Here again, we shall use the names of players which you will be facing on each of the following tournament flops. In each of the hands you are having $1000 in chips. The blinds are $10-$25 and you are playing in the first round of the tournament.

Flop One
One High Card/ Two Low Cards/Unsuited

Situation 35

You are in the middle position having:

You raised to $100 before the flop. Only the big blind called putting $210 in the pot. You have flopped top pair or top pair. On the flop, the big blind checks to you.

How will you play?

Two kings with an ace kicker is a strong hand. As you are playing against only one player, there is a good chance that you have the best poker hand unless your rival has flopped a set. It is unlikely that he has flopped two pair unless he is a loose player who might call a raise with a 6-7, K-6 or K-7 suited.


If he checks to you, bet $150-$250. If he makes a normal bet ($150-$250 for this $210 pot), move in on him. If he makes a small bet ($50) raise him four to six times the amount that he bet ($200-$300).

Situation 36

You are sitting in first position with

Before the flop you raised to $100 and got called by the player to your left, the button, and the big blind for a total pot of $410. The flop comes

You have flopped top trips.

How would you bet and play in order to maximize your profits?

Your main goal is to put as much chips as possible into the pot so as to make the pot bigger. There is much little to worry about against few possible drawing hands.


You have flopped top trips, a very strong hand on this flop. The only possible draws are a straight draw and a backdoor flush draw. Everyone in the pot has $900 in chips. You would prefer to get all your chips in, but if you bet anything close to the size of the pot, there is a good chance that everyone will give away their hands.

If you strongly believe that someone sitting behind you will bet, you can slow-playing poker by checking. If you are not sure that someone will bet if you check, make a small bet of $100-$200. In some way your rival will call your bet expecting to try to steal the pot. Making someone involved in the large bet gives a strong feeling of winning the large pot.

Situation 37

You are in the big blind with

The flop comes

The pot is not raised. There are two players playing against the small blind and the player next to the button. The total pot is $75. The small blind checks to you on the K-7-6 flop.

How would you play your straight draw?

If you decide to make a small bet and get raised a large amount, you must fold your drawing hand. If you check and the player next to the button makes a small bet, you can call.


At this point, you don't have a made hand, only an open-ended straight draw. We have two alternatives in how to play this poker hand. The first option is that you can check hoping to get a free card and make our straight and the other option is to make a bet at the pot. You prefer to bet $50-$75 because you might win with no calls. If someone calls you might hit your straight and win a big pot when you have the nuts.

Keep in mind that you don't want to lot of chips in at this point on the flop because you only have a draw.

Situation 38

You are to the immediate right of the button holding

Before the flop, action Arnold raised the pot to $75 in the first position. You called the raise and Authority Austin calls too in the big blind. Now there is $235 in the pot.

The flop comes

How will you play your bottom trips?

You have flopped bottom pairs, a very strong hand and the nuts in this spot unless someone has flopped a higher set. The obvious draw is the straight draw or a backdoor flush draws. Someone would have a top pair than your sixes and hit to make a bigger set. You should definitely play this hand all the way.


If Austin (the big blind) checks and Arnold (the original raiser) bets, you should smooth-call hoping to also pick up Austin in the big blind. If Austin bets out $150 and Arnold calls then we would raise to $400. If they both check to you, then we would bet about $200.

Situation 39

You are on the button holding

Before the flop Tight Tom raised to $100 from an early poker position. Solid Sammy just called the raise from middle position. You also just called on the button.

The flop comes

On the flop, Tight Tom checks and Solid Sammy bets $150.

How will you play your under pair?

In no-limit hold'em, two jacks is a very dangerous hand. If an over card to your jacks comes on the flop and someone bets, it is correct to fold you two jacks.


You should fold your hand. With Tight Tom raising before the flop and Solid Sammy calling his raise, you know they both have a good poker hand. One of them is a big favorite to have a better hand than your two jacks so just throw away your hand. Tight Tom might have even slow-played a set or checked A-K wanting some action.

When these two players came in before the flop, you were looking to make a set of jacks, hoping they each have an ace-high hand so that you can win the big pot against them. If the flop had come with three under cards to your jacks, then you could have bet about the size of the pot in the expectation that they both had an A-K, for instance, and you could win it on the flop

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