When you look at the flop always take your time and use the same amount of time every time. Don’ look at any of the other players when you raise your head. look instead at a neutral place or the dealer. You should not have picked up your cards until you have had a chance to study the other players at the table pick up theirs. Holdem can be fast paced but you can slow it down some without being obnoxious about it.
Reading the Board
One of the nice things about Texas holdem is that you can always tell what the best possible hand is by reading the board. Pre flop you know that the best two cards to hold is pocket aces. nothing can beat it.
After the flop and right up to the river, you know what the best possible hand is by reading the board. It can tell no lies. If a pair shows up in the flop then you know the best hand is four of a kind. If three hearts flop then you had better hope that you have the Ace of hearts in the pocket. always look carefully, especially at cards that can bridge to a straight. A six and a nine somehow do not scream straight at you but if another player has a seven and eight in the pocket he has a good open end straight draw.
You are going to see the dealer burn cards before the flop, turn, and river. No one gets to see the burn cards before they are mucked so they are of no help to you in making a decision. They should be taken into consideration when you are calculating your outs.
The burn cards are a security feature of Texas Holdem. There is always the possibility that the card has been marked during play. The burn and muck of the cards makes it impossible for anyone to know what the next card coming up is before betting.
Properly Using Check Raise
When you are playing Texas Holdem you are going to want to check raise from time to time. The check raise seems to some people to be sneaky and underhanded. Coming as it does from a hand that first checks, pretending to have a weak hand, to a hand that will raise. It can really ruffle some feathers, especially those guys who are trying to limp into the hand. They want to get all the way to the river without spending any money. You want them to spend money. The other day I was playing and was dealt the seven of spades and eight of spades.
I know that there are long odds of catching a flush on the flop and the eight has lots of over cards that will beat it, but I was feeling lucky. The flop comes seven of diamonds, seven of hearts and a king of clubs. Cool, I flopped a set. Fortunately for me another player flopped kings over sevens. His two pair looked pretty good to him. I could tell because he was eager to bet. I thought about it for a long time, making him wait. Then checked. He bet his KK/77 and I raised him. It changed the whole complexion of the game. He had thought he was top dog until I raised. He called me. On the turn the fourth seven came up. It gave him the full house and me the nut four of a kind. I checked again. He could barely hide his glee as he bet.
“Be still my beating heart.” I said to myself, and raised him again.
was using the check raise to build the pot. I wanted everybody to stay in but I knew they would not if I bet in early position with three sevens on the board. That bet has to smell to high heaven of a full boat at the very least. He was calling on the bet that I did not have pocket aces and thus AA/777, to beat his kings. His reasoning was sound. If I had pocket aces it is most likely that I would have raised before the flop instead of limping in.
There are some guys who just get irritated if you check raise. They will turn all their guns on you and try their best to beat you. It is tough to do. First they have to have a hand to play against you. Second they have to have a hand to play that will beat yours. And third they are morons for taking it personal. Anger will loose them money every time.