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No Limit Holdem Texas Poker Cash Game Guide - Overcards, Turn

Part 4 (Final) - Extensive Cash Game Guide

Overcards - AK, AQ, KQs, AJs

• These hands should be played with caution against both b and weak opposition. b players know that you, as a tight player, will mostly be holding overcards when the flop comes with low cards. This makes you susceptible to steal raises from good players and weak players will call/chase down with mediocre cards.

• If the board comes with no face cards (Ace, King, Q ueen or Jack), you can bet around 70-80% of the pot as a bluff/semi-bluff, representing an over-pair. Ffollow through as the pre-flop raiser against no more than two opponents.

• Avoid making it an expensive habit to bet this hand against suited/connected flops with no face cards and several opponents. You will lose money and "bluff equity", both of which can be used better at other times.

• Remember that your overcards might still be the best hand against one or two opponents with a flop of rags.

On the Turn

• As a general rule, take the lead and build the pot.

• If you were betting a draw on the flop, you must use your best judgment and evaluate your hand about your actions.

• Do not call down big bets with a medium holding, unless you play with a habitual bluffer or a player who is clearly on tilt.

• Make a steal-raise/steal-bet against tight players when you smell a semi-bluff and you have some kind of draw, but wait for the moment when you have a good read on your opponent. For example, you hold KQs and the flop comes 10-9-3.

You called a small bet from a lone opponent and now a 6 hits, which also gives you a flush draw. If you sense weakness in the other player, and the other player bets again, raise as a semi-bluff. You are likely to have at least 12 outs (any J or flush card) to a better hand than your opponent and possibly as many as 18 outs (if a K or Q will win the pot for you).

On the River

• Avoid betting unless you are quite sure to win a showdown, especially when facing tough opponents. You have little to win and a lot to loose. 90% of the time will only get calls from players who believe they have your made hand beat.

• Attempt to figure out your opponent/s likely holding/s and bet the amount you suspect they might call.

• Sometimes check a good hand to induce a bluff from someone who you think missed a draw, since they will not call your bet anyways.

• Often you should bet small when having the best hand and no scare card hits on the river. This will entice players to call with weaker hands.

• When you have hit your nut draw, frequently bet 80-120% of the pot to make it clear t you made the draw or you are bluffing. This k generates almost as many calls as a small bet.

The Free Card

When you are in late position or last to act, raise with a drawing hand on the flop. This will probably make your opponents check to you on the turn, giving you the opportunity to check if your hand does not improve or bet if you get your draw. This saves you money if you do not improve and rewards you with profit when you hit. However, this move will backfire when you are re-raised on the flop. Then, it will cost you money but it still remains a good play because you obtained information and have a good draw to a better hand.

The Check-Raise

When you hold a good hand and it is you turn to act, check in the hopes that an opponent will bet so that you can raise when your turn comes again. For example, you are in early position and have #Ah-#Qs. The flop is As-#Qh-#6c. You check and two players in middle position also check. A player in late position bets and you raise.

The reason for check-raising is to create a situation where you can hit a better hand, such as a straight, but where it is too expensive for your opponents to call because they do not have the correct pot odds with hands like gut-shot straight draws. If they still call, at least you have obtained information regarding the strength of their hands and forced them to pay as much as possible for trying to outdraw you.

The Semi-bluff

Semi-bluffing is when you bet or raise with a hand that is not likely to be the best (at that moment) but you have lots of outs to outdraw your opponents if you get called or raised. You are hoping to win the pot right there. For example, you are in late position holding #Jh-#Th and the flop shows #Ks-#6h-#2h, giving you a flush draw with 9 outs. There are three other players in the pot and they check to you. You bet without having the best hand but because they all checked, they indicated weakness and might fold pocket-pairs, a pair of 6's or 2's. Even if you do get called, you have 9 outs to the flush and maybe an additional 6 outs to win, as many as 15 outs in total. If called and it is checked to you on the turn, you have the option of taking a free card in case your hand did not improve.

Pot odds

Pot odds are how you use to calculate whether a certain play has a positive expected value. It is defined as the relationship between the size of the pot and the bet. For instance, if the pot is $100 and you bet $10, the pot odds are 10 to 1. To calculate your pot odds, you have to know how many outs your hand has available at that moment. For instance, if you flop a heart flush draw, you have 9 outs to make your hand. There are 13 hearts in total. You hold 2 and the flop came with 2, which leaves 9 hearts unseen.

Refer to the table below, and note that you have a 35% chance of hitting a hand with 9 outs on the turn and river combined. This is slightly better than 1 in 3 times, which means that if it costs you $10 to win $30 or more, drawing for a flush is the correct move.

A rule of thumb: Each out gives you about a 4% chance of hitting on the turn and river combined. For example, 5 outs gives you about a 20% chance of improving, 6 outs about 24%, etc.

Outs for specific draws

Flush draw with two overcards or a straight flush draw 15 outs
Flush draw with one overcard 12 outs
Flush draw 9 outs
Open-ended straight draw 8 outs
Two overcards 6 outs
Gut-shot straight draw 4 outs

Drawing outs from a deck of 47 unseen cards

Number of outs % on River

1    4.3
2    8.4
3   12.5
4   16.5
5   20.4
6   24.1
7   27.8
8   31.5
9   35.0
10 38.4
11 41.7
12 45.0
13 48.1
14 51.2
15 54.1
16 57.0
17 59.8
18 62.4
19 65.0
20 67.5

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