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Pre flop play

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Pre flop play

Pre flop play is one of the key aspects to becoming a profitable player, yet many new and existing players do not fully understand the concepts behind good pre flop play. We have created this article to try and give you some ideas and plays that could be used pre flop.

Where as you may only be making decisions on the flop, turn and river maybe once every 5-10 hands you are making decisions pre flop every hand this is why it is essential that you pre flop decision making is spot on. It is good decision making that can save you valuable bets, this is the long run is just as good as making money.

There is a selection hands you should be looking to raise with pre flop, these hands are referred to as premium hands. The reason I say you should raise the pot with a premium hand is because, if you hold a premium hand there is a good chance that you have the best starting hand on the table. You should also be looking to play these sorts of hands from a late position; this further helps your chances of becoming a favourite for the hand, with both cards and position on your side.

You have to take caution if there is a player in front of you raising, if this happens i would advise you tighten up your play. Only play hands that are the highest quality, you could find yourself playing a hand like A10. This is a respectable hand, but you could soon find yourself dominated by a hand like AK. So when the flop comes down A93 you could find yourself throwing large amounts into a wasted pot. Under a raise i would only consider playing your top pocket pairs and also the high end of the premium card range.

The first stage to good pre flop play is being able to understand and use your position correctly. If you are playing in a late position you have the ability to influence pot size considerably more than if you were sitting in an early position. This is especially true pre flop, pre flop the dealer obviously has the best position as they are the last player on the table to act, this is good because you get to see what every other player has done. This means that you could play a far weaker hand and represent it as a hand that is much stronger. Where as in an early position you have to wait for maybe 6 or 7 players behind you, so if you play a hand you are only prepared to put a small amount of chips into the pot to see a flop you should fold this hand as the players following you could make a big raise, and then you would be forced to fold, if you just folded from the start you will be saving yourself the chips that you would be puting in, just in case you get to see a cheap flop.

After you determine the position you are sitting in you need to assess the cards that can be played from these positions. If you are sitting in an early position you should be looking to fold 90% of hands the only time i would advise playing from a early position is if you are dealt a large pocket pair. If you are sitting in a middle position i would only advise playing premium hands, you should be looking to raise with these hand to make sure you do not have any of the following players seeing a cheap flop with lesser starting hands, that then make very good hands once the flop comes down. From a late position i would be looking to play as many hands as possible, if the whole table has either folded or made a flat call, you could look to raise the pot up with even a weak speculative hand. If however there is a raise in front of you make sure, if you are going to play the hand, that you have good pocket cards. Please read our Hand Rankings article for information on the hands we recommend you play.