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>> Beating the Fish at Online Poker - After the Flop

How to Beat the Fish at Loose Tables (the flop and beyond)

Written by Haunted Poker for exclusive use.


In our first section on beating the fish at online poker, we outlined a tight, very aggressive strategy to thin the field preflop and make your opponents think twice before they play trash hands. Always raising your strong hands, letting trash hands go, and occasionally playing drawing hands from late position will lay a profitable foundation for the rest of the hand. If youíre worried about playing a predictable game, donít be. Most online players are distracted, playing multiple tables, checking their e-mail, or making a sandwich. They wonít pay much attention to your gameplay, and the obvious and simple decision is usually the right one against bad players. So, what techniques should you employ of the flop, turn, and river to beat combat fishy online players? Iíll try to cover that subject to death (donít you just love my puns?) in this editionÖ


The first key to saving your stack is to get very good at analyzing the texture of the flop. Hopefully youíve been observing the players at your table up until this point, and you can make a decently accurate ďreadĒ on their potential holdings. Even if you canít, itís usually safe to assume the worst against online players. Are there any straight or flush possibilities? Could another card complete my opponentís draw? Are there 2 suited or connected cards? If there is a possible draw on the board, you have to protect yourself against it Ė especially from loose online players.


Letís say that you raised 4x the big blind preflop with Ad-Kh in early position and got two callers behind you. The flop comes out with Ac-8c-2d. What should you do in this situation? Bet out! With two clubs on the board, you canít risk giving a cheap or free card to your opponents. You should bet out at least the size of the pot in this situation. This will make your opponents think twice about drawing to the flush, and it will be giving them incorrect odds do it. When you see any possible draw on the board, you should bet hard on the flop.


To continue with the hand, letís say that your first opponent folds to your pot-sized bet but your second opponent raises all-in with a healthy stack. This isnít an immediate call. Sure, he could be bluffing, but most of the time heíll have you beat. With your raise preflop, he shouldnít have you beat, but youíll have to start realizing how badly many online players will play. Right now, he has you beat with A-A (not likely), A-8, A-2, 8-2, 8-8, and 2-2. Even though youíd never play A-8 for a raise, many online players have the ďAce-anythingĒ mentality. Theyíll play any Ace, and when they hit 2 pair youíll be in a tough situation. He also shouldnít have stayed with 2-2, but many players will play any pocket pair against the odds hoping to flop a set. At this point, I would strongly consider folding. Beating the fish not only requires you to raise your strong hands, but it requires you to realize when youíre beat and lay down your hand. Itís tough to do, but youíll have to learn to in order to be a winning online poker player.


On the other hand, you need to be willing to let hands go after you fail to connect on the flop, which will be most of the time with unpaired hole cards. I hear countless online players complaining about how the stupid fish with the 7-2 offsuit stayed in to the river with his pair of deuces when you kept betting, but failed to connect, with A-K. Making a continuation bet occasionally on the flop is fine, but why keep betting if he called on the flop? If you that a player is a calling station, donít try to bluff him! Wait until you have a hand and then milk as much of his chips as possible. Since heíll stay in after he caught any piece of the flop, heíll beat you every time if you donít connect. Have the discipline to let go of your hand if you donít hit at least middle or top pair.


On the turn and river, youíll need to be wary and continue to bet out with what figures to be the strongest hand. If you see a draw on the board, keep betting the size of the pot into your opponent(s). The key to avoiding draws is to make your opponents pay for them! If you give them cheap or free cards, youíre asking to lose a big pot. If a card comes that does seem to complete their straight or flush, you should play cautiously and slow down your betting. Even if itís a board of 3-6-9-8 and you see a big bet from your opponent, you should remember that nothing is out of the question with online players.


Finally, there are a couple of moves that you can make to maximize your profit with a big hand after the flop. If youíre out of position and you led out with a hand like top full house, a set, or two pair on the flop, see if your opponent calls. If he does, check on the turn and let him think that heís in control. If he bets, you can hesitate and then smooth call. Then, try betting back at him on the river for a good part of his chips. If Iím in position, Iíll often check after my opponent on the turn to confuse him and try to let him take control on the river. If youíre playing against an aggressive and loose player, the key is to allow him to think heís in control on the hand. Instead of check-raising, you might consider just check-calling until the turn or the river.


On the flop and beyond, you need to protect your strong hands and let go of the weak ones. Donít play many draws unless you have position and are getting good odds. When you see a possible draw on the board, you need to bet out Ė usually the size of the pot or more. You simply cannot allow bad players to have a cheap draw, or theyíll suck out on your every time. Against multiple opponents, it is even more likely that one of them is on a draw so bet even more in this instance. The key to beating the fish at online poker is a tight-aggressive style of play that punishes draws and lets vulnerable hands go when itís obvious theyíre beaten. Keep raising your premium hands, and protect them on the flop and beyond. It may seem simple, but following these simple tips will significantly cut down on your bad beats while maximizing your profits.




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