And if it goes up, what?

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Your rival just happened. You look at your cards and you think you can take one more bet, since the river does not seem to have changed at all. Bets half a pot and, after thinking for a few seconds, the opponent goes allin and has more chips than you.

Suddenly you’re playing the tournament. With how good it would have been if you had passed. You would have seen the result of the hand without suffering, and now you are in a difficult situation. You do not trust your hand very much, but the opponent may be bluffing. The problem is that if you make a mistake, you are eliminated from the tournament.

But the real problem is that before making your bet you have not asked yourself the question that will make your future decisions easier.

And if it goes up, what?

This is the key question you have to ask each time you are making a bet. This movement gives your rivals the opportunity to make a raise. And, the nice situation you were in, with your chips in the middle putting pressure on the opponent, turns and everything turns black. You start to regret having bet. With how calm you would be if you had passed.

This uncomfortable feeling is what will help us not to repeat this error. If you are clear that any opponent can raise your bet and, above all, you know what you are going to do in case it happens; your problems disappear, that feeling does not exist. You have gotten your opponents to lose the power to make you have a hard time.

Every time you make a bet, keep in mind the options that you would have in case the opponent climbed. Think and analyze the situation in which you will find if they respond with a raise.

If you upload me? Great, I have the nuts.

In this case you have never had doubts. You have the best possible hand, or a very strong hand, your only goal is for the opponent to put his chips inside the pot. When you see your bet raise, avoid jumping for joy, and get ready to re-raise.

We all have strange thoughts in our heads, it is the “nice game syndrome”, instead of making the most obvious thing, which is usually what will benefit us the most, we look for creative solutions.

If you think about limiting yourself to paying to make the rival think that your hand is mediocre, you can not forget the main problem that may arise. If you pay when you do not have a position, when the next card comes out, it is normal for you to pass, thus risking the opponent also passing and losing a betting round. This problem does not exist if you have a position, since when the opponent passes, you bet and do not lose an opportunity to enlarge the pot.

Another problem that can appear when you do slowplay is the appearance of a “scary card”. An ace, a card that completes a ladder or a color can make the action of the hand finish, causing you to take a small one instead of taking a giant pot.

I have seen many players take a small boat when they had to take a very large one, even it has happened to me on some occasion when I played slowplay without the proper circumstances.

If I have I do not have anything?

Here, as in the previous case, there are no complications. You throw yourself and wait for the next hand. You have thrown a bluff to try to take the pot but you have caught your opponent with a decent hand, so you give your hand and prepare for the next hand that you will share.

You do not need to flash. You do not have to think if the opponent may be bluffing. You do not need to do anything other than throw away the cards or hit the retreat button.

It is not bad to throw yourself. In order to have a balanced strategy, you have to bluff with some hands, and when you get caught, you throw yourself with peace of mind. If you never fold when they raise you, it means you never bet with a bad hand, so you’re never going to take a big pot when you have a powerful hand because the rivals will not give you action when you see that you only bet with good hands.

This is why you have to bet with bad hands, if you get up you throw and if they pay you, you pose the situation with the next card or if it is on the river, you present your bluff and the opponent takes the chips.

These two cases, both having the best hand and not having anything, are the ones that are not going to present difficulties because they do tend to be prepared. You know if you’re going to shoot before a raise or you’re going to keep attacking.

What if I have a middle hand or a project?

Have you bet with a project trying to take the pot, but the opponent has answered you with a raise that puts you in a complicated situation?

Do you have a middle hand and have you bet waiting for you to pay with a worse hand and, instead, have you received a raise?

These are the cases in which you get into trouble if you have not prepared what you are going to do.

When you see that the opponent answers you with a raise that you did not have planned, the tears appear. And these tears are what make it not easy to make the best decision. The feeling that leaves you the unpleasant surprise of seeing something that you did not expect and that you do not like is not going to put you in the best position to analyze the hand.

The natural response to these situations is to avoid them. So as not to put yourself in an unpleasant situation, you stop betting with the middle hands or with the projects, or, worse, you make exorbitant bets, losing all the value that the hand can have.

How many times have you seen someone go all-in with a project or an average hand?

I give you an example that you have seen many times. Start a sit & go or a tournament and a player goes directly all-in when it is your turn. It has about 100 blinds and everything is played. You’re a little surprised by the bet. But after any of the other players at the table pay, you see that he presents A ♦ J ♦ . The fear of not knowing what to do if they raise him led him to make the decision to avoid that raise by going directly all-in. The amount of chips he loses when making that decision for not playing the hand rationally, compensates him as long as he does not go through the bad experience of having a rival raise him and go blank.

This automatic response is the cause of many players wasting situations in which they can win many chips. As they will go all-in to avoid the rise of the opponent, at other times they prefer to pass and avoid facing the opponent. They just wait for the opponent to pass and, probably, to pay if the opponent bets.

This is a game in which you have to risk to win chips. If you avoid all risk situations, you will never be a winner.

But this does not mean that you bet like crazy in all situations. You have to have a cool head, analyze the situation and when you know what you’re going to do when the opponent comes up, decide whether you should bet or not. There will be times in which you pass, others that you throw away and others that raise the bet of your opponent, but always knowing what to do if it re-rises.

These basic strategies that we present at 888poker.es are essential to create the base that your game needs to improve. Keep going through this poker blog if you want to keep improving your poker.