Playing the Flop, Turn, and River in Texas Hold’em. After the pre-flop betting in Texas Hold’em, then comes the Flop, Turn, and River action.
The Flop is the defining moment in a poker hand. Great poker starting hands can become second best hands and marginal starting hands can become monster hands.
Before committing your chips to the pot, you must make a realistic judgement on the strength of your hand. Do you need to play it quickly? Should you slow play your hand? Are there 2 or 3 suited cards in the flop? Is there a flush draw someone might be chasing?
In general, a flop with high cards can be a problem for your hand if you have an under pair. Unless, of course, you have some of those high cards. A pair on the board can mean that someone has trips or better. These are all warning signs for your hand.
You also need to consider how many opponents are in the hand. The more players involved in a pot, the greater the chance that you will be beaten. This being the case, you should only be in 3 or 4 way pots with very strong hands. The only exception would be when there is a great deal of money in the pot, in which case you might be getting sufficient pot odds to call a bet.
The turn is the hardest round of poker betting on U.S. online poker sites in Texas Hold’em. Bets are doubled, so any mistake you make will be compounded by the size of the bet. Also, if you are going to continue with your hand on the turn, you will probably have to call a bet on the River. This is where it starts to be expensive to stay in a hand.
Generally speaking, if you think you may have the best hand, you want to stay aggressive on this round of betting. Since you have already committed chips on the Flop, you hopefully have a strong hand. The last thing you want to do is to give your opponent a free card by checking on the turn. A free card might make your opponent's hand the winning hand. Make them pay for those draws which they were chasing on the Flop or which came on the Turn.
The River is generally a straightforward betting round in Texas Hold’em. All the cards are on the board. You either have a very strong hand, or you didn't make your hand.
Since you have already committed chips on the Flop, and the Turn, you hopefully still have the best hand on the River. This is where you will find out.
You want to stay aggressive on this round of betting if you still expect to have the best hand. You should have already put your opponent on a hand and know what you can expect to extract value from. If you did not make your hand on the River, and your opponent bets into you, fold your hand.