Mastering advanced skills in No-Limit Hold'em will make you unpredictable, profitable and most importantly your opponent will be aware that you have a vast knowledge of the game and they will have to adapt their game towards your style rather than be comfortable within the sphere that they usually play in.
Let's take an in-depth look at some advanced skills and techiques that will improve your overall poker game.
At this stage of your poker schooling you should be fully aware of the elements of check-raising when you flop a set etc. This piece will go beyond that and hopefully make you even more aware of the importance of check-raising.
There are certain situations whereby check raising is more profitable than a straight forward bet, check or call. Take this example for instance. You are seated on the button in a ten-handed $3/$6 cash game and are dealt A J (suited clubs). A mid-position player makes a raise ($18) and you call along with the blinds. Four-handed to the flop which comes Kc 10s 6c (two clubs). There is twelve big blinds in the pot ($72). It's checked round to you, what do you do? Place a 3/4 pot-sized bet? What if your opponent raises you? You will probably be fully committed to the pot, which isn't that bad of a situation, but should you really have to risk all of your stack?
The answer is no. You could take the option of checking and seeing the turn card for free. Taking this option though does not create an extra round of betting which is what you really want. There is some simple steps you should take to maximise your profit/loss. Bet the minimum amount ($6). If an opponent decides to raise behind you (given the minute size of your bet and perhaps along with a marginal holding) you then have the option to make that inital 'big bet' and be the forceful raiser. In nearly all situations you will take down the pot uncontestedly.
If your opponents call ($6) they are much more likely to check around to you on the turn. This gives you the option to check and receive a free card on the river if you have missed the turn card. So overall this is an enhanced play that will not put you under pressure but instead make your opponents extremely wary of you.
The Art of Bluffing
Getting an idea of your opponent's cards is a very important factor in poker but there is other methods to extract profit from them. When you are playing against weaker players is best to just build up a good hand and extract little by little from your opponent. Attempting to get over-confident and bluffing against weaker players will eventually take your game down a level. The most effective bluff against weaker opponents is 'floating'.
Floating occurs mainly on the flop. For example if you are playing an agressive and loose opponent, who will make a contination bet after every pre-flop raise, then you can call there continuation bet on the flop which will then automatically make your opponent think 'oops he/she has something'. In almost all cases your opponent will check the turn card and you can go ahead and fire a 3/4 pot-sized bet and again in nearly all situations like this you will take down the pot. Beware using this method against the better players as they will be aware that you have this weapon in your armoury and it becomes a game of 'cat and mouse' to see who surrenders first. Overall Remember you have to adjust to your opponents style. Different games require differents amounts of aggression and tightness. If you find yourself in a very tight game, loosen up and exploit those stealing opportunities. www.paddypowerpoker.com
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