How to Evaluate the Flop

Playing Poker Post Flop

After the three community cards known as the 'flop' are laid face-up on the table, you need to evaluate how well they fit with your two 'hole' cards. This episode explains how your post-flop hand can fall into four categories – very strong, strong, mediocre or trash.

Very strong hands should be played aggressively, while trash should be folded. But the decisions can be tougher when your hand is between those extremes. As we'll see at the Dublin stop of the European Poker Tour (EPT), you need to use all the information available when you're in a difficult spot with a mediocre hand.

What if you're holding As-Qs, and the flop is Qh-8h-7d? That's a strong hand. You've got top pair and top 'kicker', but the turn and river might allow an opponent to complete a flush or straight. We'll learn what to do in this type of scenario. There's also a commentary by poker champion Daniel Negreanu on protecting strong hands.

Sometimes, you'll get lucky and flop a 'monster' or the 'nuts' – a hand that is highly likely to be the best no matter what the turn or river may bring. Now you're less concerned about protecting your hand, and want to induce your opponents to put the maximum number of chips into the pot. We'll learn the art of slow-playing to trap our opponents. Once again, we get advice from Daniel Negreanu.
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