Texas Holdem Poker Lessons: The Flop, Turn and River

Once the flop hits the board, it is time to think beyond starting hands. This Texas Holdem Poker Lesson gives you ideas on what to do on the flop, turn and river.


If you had a good starting hand but the flop did nothing to help it, fold. Don't limp into subsequent rounds. Too many players stay in a game, calling bets and checking, because they are unable to let go of a cool pocket pair. A mature player is ready to fold even an AA if the flop doesn't improve it.

If your hand improves, you must consider other things as well. What hands could your opponents possibly have, and are they higher than yours? For example, if you get a two pair, could there be a flush or straight? Have there been any raises? Do you feel someone has a great hand?

Be careful about playing low pairs like 3-3 even if there is another pair on the board like Q-Q. There may be someone with a K or A out there and if another hits the board, you're done. This is the problem with playing low cards.

When it looks like you have a straight or flush, watch out for pairs on the board. Someone may have a full house. You can be aggressive now, but make sure you really do have the best hand. Look before you act.

In general, you can slow play a great hand; that is, call and check instead of raising to avoid scaring off other players. Then you could raise later when the bets are doubled. But by extending the game, you risk other players making their hands as well.

There are countless possible moves here depending on the cards you play. To make it simple, just play with the best preflop hands and stay with them only if the flop improves them. Then your choice is to either slow play or bullying with the hand.


By now there should be fewer players surviving. Now is the time to unleash your monster if you have one. Do this by check-raising.

On the other hand, if your hand looks lost, just fold. There is only one card left for the board so if you haven't made your hand now, the chances of making it are slim.

Since the bets are doubled, you must have very good reason to stay on the turn. This is why a good player folds on the flop if they have to. If you are close to making a hand and want to see the river, check the pot/hand odds first to see if it's worth it.


Again, for you to stay in the game this far, you must have a really good hand. If you did not make it, you should check/fold. Many players will keep on betting just because they have put so much money in the pot already. But if you are sure you are beaten, why reward your opponent by betting more? You cannot win a pot just by adding to it, anyway.

If you have a strong hand, however, you can be the aggressor. Just beware of a straight or flush as someone can easily have a better hand, like a four of a kind, if there is a pair on the board.

No matter what stage in the game, your life would be simpler if you only played the best hands and high kickers. Play tight, but be aggressive at the right times. This will suffice for the Texas Holdem Poker Lesson on the flop, turn and river.