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Reading the Board in Texas Holdem

A very essential part of your Texas Holdem education must include knowing how to read the community cards, that is the flop, turn and river. While your hole cards are of paramount importance, they are often only as good as what you will get on the board.

Too many players focus their Texas Holdem strategies on their starting hands, and the events before the flop. The thinking of most individuals is that with a strong hand (AA-JJ, plus other quality hands like KQ, KJ, AJ etc) they can make a few bets and raises and win the pot. They can then end the game without seeing the flop.

That can be true in a lot of cases. However, the fact is that relying on only your Texas Holdem starting hands will be insufficient in the long run. Number one, you will only get few good hands in any given session. And secondly, by taking down the pot before the flop, you deny yourself the opportunity to win more money.

After all, it is when other Texas Holdem players are drawing that you will get to see the pot build up. So while it is important that you try to get the most of your hands, knowing how to play the community cards will be crucial.

The value of your hole cards will strengthen or weaken depending on the flop If you hold an 88 and the flop gives you get another 8 you are in good position. The same thing when you hold AK and you another K. You hold a high pair with top kicker. Getting a four flush on the flop will give you enough incentive to bet and raise to see the turn and river in Texas Holdem.

If you miss the board, it does not necessarily mean you should fold. If you are holding KQ and the flop has no other face cards and are low, the odds will still be in your favor. When reading the board, consider not just where you are at, but also the other players.

Those that concentrate too much on the pre flop play in Texas Holdem end up losing a lot of games because they are unprepared for the action when they get to the flop. By playing the flop, turn and river, you will get to see more money in the pot, and also get the chance to take home more money.

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