Whether you’re an amateur poker player, or you’ve been playing for quite some time, you know about the pre-flop. Poker is a game of many stages, but none could be as important as the pre-flop. It’s the beginning of the game, and like every other thing in life, first impressions last. This is when you’re most likely to establish some details about yourself. The way you play in the pre-flop determines your hand and game style for the rest of the game. Not only that, but your table image is also defined according to your round before the Flop.
Now, you don’t need to get intimidated by this round. That will certainly not help matters. All you need to do is follow this handy guide on the pre-flop. We’ll clear up your confusion and answer all your doubts. So read, on and get ready to learn.
The pre-flop is where all the action starts. This is the round before the Flop, and allows you to make some important decisions, taking all the variables into account, about your poker hands. When you’re dealt your pre-flop starting hands, you want to make some important decisions. You cannot simply rely on your cards to take you ahead in the game. You need to consider some other variables such as your position at the table and even the type of opponents you’re playing against. All of these elements are part of your poker strategy.
However, you don’t need to get worried and scramble to understand what any of this means. We’ve got you covered. We’ll be sharing some strategic tips that’ll help you play an exceptional pre-flop round. These tips are as follows:
1) Hand Selection:
As we know, in order to play a good game of poker, it’s really important to have a strong hand. We need to combine our hole cards with our community cards in order to construct a combination which will be a winning hand. A lot of the foundation for this construction is laid down during the pre-flop. Some of the hands which are considered extremely strong in a game of Texas Hold’em are as follows:
- Big Pocket Pairs – Ace-Ace, Ten-Ten.
- Big Suited Connectors – Ace-King, Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, King-Queen (of the same suit)
- Big Connectors: Ace-King, Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack, King-Queen (of different suits)
If you find yourself with these combinations of cards, then you should stick with them. These are some of the best cards, and they’ll give you a huge push towards winning. They’re just that much more profitable. If you see a potential for building one of these hands, then you should definitely give it a shot. That’s not to say that you can’t play other cards successfully. But, if you’re a newbie, these hands will start you off in the right direction.
2) Position Strategy:
In a game of poker, it is easy to focus simply on the cards and neglect other variables. However, your position at a poker table is of immense importance. You need to be aware of it, at all times.
Usually, in a betting round, the blinds are the first to act. However, things are a little different in pre-flop in poker. In this round, the blinds are the last to act. While there is this difference, the main principle of position strategy remains the same; you want to play hands where you have position over the players, as often as you can.
So, try to avoid playing too many hands as the blinds or any other earlier positions. It can be tempting because you’ve put money in the pot, but it is safer to let some of these hands go. You’ll have a much better game, playing from more profitable positions.
If you’re lucky enough to have some of the best starting hands, then you can play from any position. But, with other cards, when you’re playing from an earlier position, you need to have a tighter range of hands. That is, you’ll be playing with a limited range of stronger hands. But, when you play from later positions, you can afford to play with a wider range of cards. Position matters and you should always remember that.
3) Betting in Pre-flop:
Whenever you’re in a position to act pre-flop, you have to make one of three choices. Either you have to fold, or you have to call or raise. If no other player before you has raised, then you can call, which is simply meeting their bet amount. However, this is a weaker move and is called ‘limping in’. it’s considered an inferior move because you are either showing all your opponents that you have a weaker hand, jeopardizing your game, or you’re playing a premium hand in a weak manner. Ideally, you should try to raise and show the table that you have a good game.
In the pre-flop, you should aim to raise the bet by three or four times than that of the Big Blind. Your aim is to raise the bet to such an amount, that the players that follow you, are afraid to raise their bets to match your raise. They are either afraid that you have too strong a hand, or their holdings are too small to afford such a bet. This means, that fewer players will follow you in the Flop round, and you’ll have reduced your competition.
If someone else has made a similar raise before you, then you need to evaluate your hand. If your hand is weaker or average, you can fold. But, if you have a strong or premium hand, then you can call or raise their bet.
These strategic tips can ensure that you’re off to a good start and play the rest of the game relatively well.
In the end, you can safely say you know how to play some pre-flop in poker. You’ve learnt about the basics and also got to know some strategic tips that’ll help you in the long run. Now, you’re ready to play some poker, so come join us at Spartan and download the poker app, now!