Before the flop in Texas Holdem
Cards have been dealt and you want your next few decisions to set you up to win the round, this is why we are going to talk about what to do before the flop.
Before the flop is where everything begins and you are able to make your first decision in the hand. It is also very simple since not much has happened yet, but don’t let that trick you. What you choose to do here can determine how well the next few betting rounds will go.
Selecting the best starting hand before the flop.
Most of your strategy before the flop will be based on choosing which cards to hold and which cards to fold. A good preflop strategy will include taking a good look at your starting hand and folding it if it is weak. You don’t want to start betting more and more with a weak hand, so don’t let your gut tell you what to do here.
Stick with big cards as much as possible because those are the hands that are going to get you wins. If you want to learn more about which cards will help you win, take a look at our guide, Texas Holdem hand strategy.
If you have a strong hand bet before the flop, you should almost always make a raise. When you don’t, you are opening up the table to weaker hands and in turn, a chance to lose the pot. You want to use this time before the flop to remove weaker hands.
The raise you make here also needs to be a significant amount. We recommend a preflop raise that is about four times the size of the big blind. When your raise isn’t significant enough you will get the same problem that we just described. The others at the table with weaker hands won’t be scared to match you.
So. what happens if someone else makes a big raise before you get to? If your hand is strong but could be better, it will often be better to call. If your hand is top tier and their raise was not big enough to scare weaker hands, then go a step further and reraise.