Strong post-flop hand? Be aggressive to be a winner!
If you hit your draws on the flop, it is probable that you are holding the best hand at the table. At this point though, there are still two more cards that are going to be dealt; the turn and the river. It is conceivable that these cards will fill your opponent’s draws that could push him or her into first place. In order to avoid this, it is advised to bet aggressively in an attempt to get your opponents to fold before the turn and the river is dealt.
Bet with Aggression
It is important to place aggressive bets when you have a strong post-flop hand. For example, let’s say you have an 8C/9C, the flop comes with a 3C/6C/JC which gives you a flush, but not the best flush possible. At this point you probably have the highest hand but if another club is dealt during the turn or the river your opponent might fill his or her draws (hit a winning hand). You will want to discourage your opponent from staying in the game and to do this you need to play aggressively by raising and betting a lot, as this may cause your opponent to fold. It is also necessary to take your opponent’s betting decisions into account before you decide what to do. Nonetheless, it is usually always better to aggressively bet when you are checked. If your opponent acts before you, while you are in the late position, you generally should re-raise.
Estimating Hand Range
It is beneficial if you are able to approximate your opponent’s hand range. In order to demonstrate, let’s take the previous example. In this case, it is likely that your opponent will bet on over-pairs with or without a flush, high pairs, sets, a high flush like a JS/QC, JD/AC or JH/KC and lower flushes. You are holding a hand that can beat all of these hands, so your opponent probably cannot win. You should raise in hopes of pushing your opponent out of the game or making him or her pay to remain in the hand. There will be situations when an opponent will choose to re-raise you. If this happens, you need to consider your opponent’s playing style and the likelihood that they have a better flush than you. Your opponent would have to hold a QC, KC or AC to have a better flush than you. Because it is not likely that your opponent has these cards, then you are still in a good position to take the pot.