How to avoid difficult poker decisions.

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How to avoid difficult poker decisions
How to avoid difficult poker decisions.

One of the biggest poker mistakes most poker players make is not having a hand plan. This leads to difficult decisions when the player simply does not understand how he should act in a given situation.

If you take each hand seriously, planning the line of play in advance, you can thus avoid numerous mistakes. In addition, it will be much easier to make decisions postflop.

To analyze the presented idea in more detail, consider it in detail using the example of the distributions:

For example, we are playing at NL100. The CO opens at $ 2.5, we call BU with a hand 9ctc. The remaining players fold. The flop comes up jc3d2h. The open raiser checks.
On this texture, we should be betting the flops with our 10-high hand. It doesn’t have showdown value, but it does have backdoors.

When deciding whether to bet on a particular flop texture with your hand, it is important to understand what actions to expect from your opponent and what might happen on the next streets. Therefore, let us consider a number of examples of those actions from the opponent that can occur in response to our bet.

The opponent will throw his hand

Obviously this would be ideal as we only have 10-high on the flop.

Opponent check raises

In some cases, the opponent will play here with a check raise and in our situation we cannot prevent him from doing this. However, this result is not the worst, because after such a rally on his part, we definitely will not find ourselves in a too difficult situation. You just need to fold your 10-high hand without a draw.

Opponent calls

On the flop, we couldn’t bluff the pot, but we got a chance to see the turn. Any club that comes out gives us a flush draw, and on the exit of 7.8, Q, or K, we get a straight draw. All these cards allow us to continue betting calmly. Additionally, there is a chance that one of our outs, 9 or 10, comes out on the turn, which may well give us the best hand in this spot.

Now let’s change our hand to AQo and leave the flop the same. Yes, many players would prefer to 3bet this hand, but for example, consider the situation that we decided to call it.
Opponent checks the flop and we bet. How will events develop further?

Opponent will fold his hand

This result suits us quite well. We took the pot with a good hand, which is quite vulnerable. Obviously, on such a texture, our opponent is unlikely to fold a hand better than AQ by one bet, so such a bet should not be called a successful bluff. In this situation, our bet looks more like a defensive one.

Opponent decides to check-raise.

This variation is the worst for us, since we have a practically dead hand against our opponent’s value range, but against those hands that our opponent decides to bluff with, we have enough equity.

In order not to get into such a difficult situation, it is better to bet in this spot with a hand with which we can make a simpler decision against an opponent’s check-raise.

Opponent calls.

This option is average for us. After a call from our opponent, we can conclude that he most likely has a stronger hand than ours. At the same time, we have equity against our opponent’s made hands like 44-1010 and parts of jacks. Plus, we can beat a number of hands like A4s, A5s, or KQs that our opponent decided to play by check-calling.

If we give our opponent a CO range like AQs +, 44-1010, J9s, as well as hands like A6s-A10s and KQs, we have 37% equity. The bottom line is that in response to a check on the flop from our opponent, our best decision is a check behind.


At the moment of making a decision, you should always think about why you made such a choice. Before doing this or that action, you need to plan the rally on the following streets.

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