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Playing Texas hold’em or any other poker game your goal is undoubtedly to win as many chips as possible. Winning more than a fair share of your hand is fine, but bigger pots are much better. And, the cost to play is about the same, no matter how big the pot is. The bigger the pot you win, the more likely you are to come home a winner; and more and more fun.

Every now and then you’ll drop a monster’s hand. Better yet, though very rare, is the nut – a hand that cannot be beaten. At that point, your main goal is to build the size of that pot – help it grow as big as possible. The smart player will take every opportunity to manipulate the game of that hand to his greatest advantage.

As an example, let’s discuss the limited grip grip where you drop the top set on the board. How can you maximize the number of chips you win? Say you start with pocket Queens, and the third Queen falls on the flop. The odds against it happening are about 8 to 1, but it will (if you’re lucky). A set of Queens is a great hand; far more often than not, it will take the pot.

Assuming there is no clear draw to a straight or flush, it would be smart to play slow on the flop; don’t chase your opponent. These are your “victims” that can assist you in your quest to build pot size. They cannot contribute if their hand is removed. At this point, usually, you should not bet, or increase your previous bet. Slow play. Wait for Turn when the bet size is doubled.

If the Turn is not threatening, you should bet from any position – unless you are reasonably sure the raise will work. Look to the left as you prepare to bet: Does an opponent pick up a bunch of chips, wanting to put his money in the pot? If early/middle positions are already bet, are any of the other players ready to move up? (See your notes to make sure he’s not a cheater, in which case he may be faking it, trying to convince you to just check so he can get a free or cheap card.) If the “coast is clear,” then it’s OK to go ahead and do raise your salary to further build “your” pot.

Consider the case when it’s a loose match with two or more aggressive players, and you’re in a late position. Suppose, on the flop, the starting position is out bet, and is raised by another player just to his/her left; and then, this two bet is called by some other players. In that case, a raise would be the best decision you can make.

You get big money odds when they all call your triple bet. What’s more, with so many chips already in the pot, your opponent is now committed enough to see the hand make it to the River – with more money likely going into “yours” pot.

There are many opportunities to build pot size. The more we know and use bonus138, the more chips we can take home at the end of the session. However, there are always exceptions.

Here’s a good example: Suppose a flop contains two or more matching cards and/or connectors; it would be wise to protect your set by betting or raising. After all, a set – even a set of Aces – is prone to straights and blushes.

If an opponent hasn’t declared after you act, your bet – or raise – can shrink the field to your advantage, protecting your Queens set. (It’s better to win a slightly smaller pot than to lose a bigger one.)

 

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