“It’s on you”, the dealer
instructs that it’s your turn to act.
What should I be thinking? Every
time that it is your turn to act, there is a quick checklist that you need to run
through before you act. Obviously this
needs to be done without giving away any information about what your cards are
and they can’t even suspect that you are thinking about what your thinking. So you have looked at your cards and now need
to ask yourself
playing mood are my opponents in? Are they Aggressive, Conservative or Interested in other things
away from the table?
other players have already acted, you need to think about what they may hold,
have they raised and what hands might that mean they have, have they limped and
what does that mean. Perhaps they are
confident with their cards and want to see a cheap flop or maybe they are
holding Aces and looking to trap you.
have you played the last few hands, what have I done pre flop recently and what
hands have I had to show down. Have I
raised the last 4 hands or have I folded solidly for the last hour. Be assused that everything that I do at the
table is being watched by the other players, just like you are watching each of
the most important question that relates to what your thought process should be
is what position am I in relative to the dealer. The latter that you have to act in the hand,
the more information that you can gain from the other players before you are
forced to act. Being under the gun or
first to act is not a good position to be playing weak hands and being the
dealer allows you to perhaps enter pots with marginal hands. Positon is critical, I cannot stress this
you have gone though this checklist, thought about the answers, you now need to
decide about what your action will be.
Call or Fold, these are your only options.
If you think that you have the best hand compared to the other players,
then raise. If you think that you hand
is worse compared to the other players then fold. If you think that your hand isn’t the
strongest but if you hit the flop hard can win a big pot then you can elect to
everyone has folded and it is just you and the blinds left, you can possibly
raise here and attempt to steal the blinds.
Be aware though, the opponents opinion of your mindset might suggest
that you are actually doing what you are doing and they may re-raise you
back. Welcome to the game of Hold ‘em
poker, there are no certainties.
sounds like a basic and un-nessecary checklist, but be assured that if you run
the checklist before every hand you will become a thinking player, a winning
player. It is important to understand
that you need to decide about either betting or raising before checking or
folding because that encourages aggressive play, remember aggressive poker is