Top 10 flop moves from Mitchell Cogert’s Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves

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Mark | Poker Articles, Poker Strategy, Poker Top 10 Lists, Poker Tournament

In this series of top 10 lists I have selected top moves from Mitchell Cogert’s “Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves”. I believe these moves have the largest probability of improving your chances of winning low to medium stakes online poker tournaments.

Top 10 lists in this series:

Top 10 preflop moves

Top 10 flop moves

Top 10 turn and river moves

Mitchell Cogert is the author of “Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves.” It is the only reference book to reveal the plays the Pros use to win a poker tournament. These plays are based on reviewing 20 years worth of tournament poker strategies and by actual play against Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, David Pham and other top pros. The book is available on Amazon and rated 5 out of 5 stars by customers. Find out more about Mitchell Cogert by visiting Tournament Poker or his website APokerExpert.

Top 10 flop moves

The flop moves listed below are mostly bluff and semi bluff moves designed to win pots on flops you haven’t caught a piece of. Since you will often represent a hand you don’t have, it is of the utmost importance that your betting history in the hand and general table image tell a convincing story. In addition you have to choose your flops and opponents carefully. Ideally you want to be up against a maximum of 2-3 opponents who will be able to lay down their hands depending on the move you choose. Needless to say flop moves require a lot more skill and experience to master as compared to preflop moves.

  • Bet the rainbow “Steal flop”

Some flops contain low cards of different suits (rainbow) and in addition are uncoordinated meaning that there is little chance that one of your opponents has picked up a draw. An example of such a flop could be 2 (h) 4(c) 9 (d). Say you enter a pot with Q10 suited without raising and have 2 opponents on a rainbow “Steal flop”. You should make a more than half sized pot bet both if you are first to act and if the action is checked to you.

  • Bet at flops with pairs

If the flop comes with a pair and is uncoordinated (no flush draws and obvious straight draws) you should bet if you are first to act or the action is checked to you. Take advantage of your opponent’s fear of facing trips. If you get called on the flop you need to consider whether you want to bet the turn or not. Your opponent could have hit trips but the probability is small since there are only two cards in the deck that could give him this hand. Your opponent could also be planning to steal the pot from you on the turn if you show weakness and check. Notice how poker player level thinking really comes into play when considering what to do on the flop, turn and river.

  • Bet at flops with the same suit

When you are up against few opponents, flops with the same suit are a good opportunity to steal the pot. Your opponents may not believe you have hit the flop, but they know that they need a flush to win. They will have to fold if they don’t have any cards in the same suit or one low card in the same suit.

  • The continuation bet

Most of you probably already know the continuation bet, but it is an important move to include in your arsenal, which is why I mention it here. If you take the lead preflop and raise with say AJ suited, you continue showing that your hand is strong by making a 50-75% pot bet on the flop (the continuation bet). You make this bet even if the flop did not improve your hand. If you are up against a couple of opponents the chances are high that they will fold. If you get called, you face a tough decision on the turn. Did your opponent hit the flop or is he defending against your continuation bet by calling the flop aiming to steal the pot from you on the turn if you show weakness and check? In these situations you have to evaluate both the texture of the flop and put your opponent on a range of possible hands.

  • The probe bet

The aim of the probe bet is to find out if you have the best hand after the flop without risking too many of your chips. Say you call a preflop raiser with J10 and the flop comes J 7 2. If you are first to act you can make a small bet of less than half the pot to find out where you stand and if you’re lucky take down the pot. If you get reraised you can fold your hand without having risked too many chips. As with all the other bluff and steal moves, the probe bet works best when you are up against only a few opponents.

  • The blocking bet

Say you called a preflop raiser out of position with a drawing hand such as 89 suited. The flop comes A J 7 with one card in your suit. You have an inside straight draw and a backdoor flush opportunity. By making a small blocking bet as the first to act on the flop, you aim to slow down your opponent and either get a cheap turn card or if you’re lucky make your opponent fold. If he raised preflop with pocket 10’s, pocket Q’s or even pocket K’s, he might interpret your blocking bet as if you have hit your Ace and aim to suck some chips out of him. Your defensive blocking bet has a better chance of succeeding if your opponents have seen you make the same size bet earlier when you have hit a big hand.

  • Leading out

If you are up against two or less opponents you need to be aggressive if you hand caught any piece of the flop such as middle pair. This is true also if you are out of position. Remember that you hitting the flop means that your opponents are less likely to have hit the flop. Try a probe bet if you are first to act and if the action is checked to you bet to take down the pot.

  • Bet when you hit a set or full house

Bet bet bet when you hit a set. Don’t check and try to trap your opponent. You want to build big pots with your made hands. If your opponent folds he was going to do so anyway. Avoid check raising the flop as it shows a lot of strength and will slow down your opponent on the following streets.

  • Bet if the action is checked to you

Bet when you are last to act after the flop and the action is checked to you. Your opponents have shown weakness and you should react to this. Fold if you are check raised and don’t have a hand that can improve on the turn. Make a note on the opponent who check raised you so you remember him the next time you are in a pot together.

  • When to move all in

Move all in on the flop if you have raised preflop and the potsize on the flop is roughly the same size as your chip stack. It doesn’t matter if the flop missed you. You need to accumulate chips and this is done by taking risks. Late in tournaments and during heads-up play this move should be almost automatic.

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2 Comments to Top 10 flop moves from Mitchell Cogert’s Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves

October 2, 2009

some useful tips here… I’ve used most of them already but the ‘Bet the rainbow “Steal flop”’ is a new one for me. Think I’ll give it a go tonight. Thanks

November 20, 2009

Well I just tried limping with pockets aces under the gun in a tournament and it did not go well.

No raisers, 3 callers and a 874 flop, two hearts.

One opponent bets the pot, the next player folds, I call and the last opponent makes a min raise.

I’m thinking he has either 78 or 56 but just can’t let my aces go. I push and he shows 56.

You need discipline when you limp with pocket Aces….discipline I do not have yet.
.-= Mark´s last blog ..Tournament mistakes_part 1 =-.

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