Welcome to the main round of betting! So, have a sip of water and tighten up your slack as it is the time for action by all the worthy players on the table. Here is when the actual gameplay starts.
A little knowledge is always dangerous and can let you be in dire straits with huge losses. If you are an avid poker player, then you must understand what we meant by the above sentence. In case you have just begun, we would try our best that you never have to face that situation ever in poker as a result of poor play. That is what we are here for, to guide and train you to become a poker star so that you never go without any money from the table.
So, get ready to learn everything about the first betting round that is the Pre Flop round in poker.
Since, here is when you start betting with your chips in the game, so you first need to know about the best and the worst starting hands (a combination of two Hole cards also known as pocket cards) you have once you are dealt with the Hole cards after the blinds are made. Have a glance at them to know which are the best starting hands in poker.
Poker is a game that requires a strategic approach to win over your opponents and make a way to the pot money. You cannot play like a novice once you are playing with real money. When you are on the table and take an action after the blinds then that action really matters and unfolds a lot about your poker strategy and cards that you have. So, it is necessary to identify the factors that will affect your decision-making process before the Pre-flop round. You should certainly consider the following points in order to play smartly and navigate your way to the other rounds.
You should always identify the blinds to compare your chip stack to them as this will affect your first move in the game. If your chip stack is not that high, then you may not take aggressive decisions.
This factor may help you raise a bluff bet in order to create pressure on the opponents, and thereby making them fold
Identifying the average stack on the table may help you evaluate the maximum raise for that round and your chance of winning the hand over your opponents.
It is always advantageous to be in the later positions as you get the opportunity to take the action after your opponents and the decision would be based upon their actions. In case you are sitting in the early positions, then you need to ascertain some aspects before you act.
Once you know about your position on the table, make sure you identify the players sitting before you and the players who are yet to act upon, as this will help you know about their tendencies, the size of their wager, and how weak or strong their holdings are on the table
It is most important for you to identify your starting hand. The stronger the starting hand will be the more the chances to win will be there. In case, you do not get a good starting hand, then you need to ask the following questions to yourself and make the decision:
To get the answers to these questions, you must first need to understand some basic pre-flop strategies in poker.
In case you are at an early position (under the gun, under the gun plus one, under the gun plus two) on the table, we suggest you to choose a tight starting range of hands like Ace with King or Queen or Jack or any other hands from the pockets like pocket 8, 8, pocket 9, 9, pocket 10, 10 or pocket face cards.
For instance, if all the players on your table are playing tight, then you can loosen your hand because it will benefit you in knowing about their holdings if they opt to ‘call’.
Always raise big with premium hands like Ace, Ace; King, King; Queen, Queen; Ace, King or Queen. However, we strongly oppose the use of this strategy in case you have a small pocket hand like 5, 5, or 6, 6 as you may get trapped if a player raises the bet which indicates that he/she may have stronger hands than yours.
If you are at an early position and you have raised the bet, that means you have already given perception to your opponents about your strong hand which may force them to fold. This can benefit you leaving with a lesser number of opponents. We advise you to maintain this strategy from different positions as well, to keep your opponents under pressure
Limping refers to opting for the ‘call’ option just to enter the pot. This is a weak move while you are sitting at early positions. This option indicates clearly to your opponents that you have a weak hand or maybe playing your strong hand in an inferior way. So, avoid taking this action at the early positions.
Playing too many hands aggressively with marginal (not that strong) cards may lead to affecting your bankroll as well as your life in the game.