After the Flop: Now what?? One of the most enlightening articles I ever read on hold'em was in one of the final issues of Poker Digest (which was purchased by Card Player) which posed the question  If you had a combined team of a novice and a professional who played a tag team game where each player made the decision (and they could not communicate in any way) on what to bet ... how would you play it  Would you let the amateur play the openers and the turn and the pro play the flop and the river or would you let the pro play the openers and the turn and the amateur play the flop and the river??? My thoughts and those of many experienced players  The pro needs to play the openers and the turn ... most novice players waste more money on lousy openers and don't know when they should be raising out of strength and then they chase on the turn when there aren't enough outs to make it worth while and even if they connect the hand has a low percentage of winning. So with that in mind  you've seen the flop  what next The absolute most important part of hold'em is understanding that the hand is now 5/7 complete  Statistically, you can absolutely calculate the best possible hand that can occur with the three cards exposed on the flop. Similarly, after the turn and the river  you have to be able to know what the best possible hand is ... and knowing that, be able to evaluate whether the hand you have has a good possibility of winning. We have all had countless games where we loose on straights, loose on flushes but somehow seem to win on a low pair or even an Ace high. For example: The Flop  Best Possible Hand  Thoughts/Strategy  Ah  Qc  9d  Before the turn and the river, the best possible hand is a set of Aces, then Queens and Nines.  Notice that there are no paired suits, so a flush draw is unlikely. A player who is suited would need to catch runner/runner which is about (10/47)*(9/46) or about 4.16% since there are 5 known cards to them and since they have 3 suited cards, there are 10 left so they have 10 out of 47 on the turn and IF THEY CONNECT  they must draw one of 9/46 to fill the flush. The most likely scenario is a straight draw  so a 10J opener would give you an open ended straight draw with 8 outs (4 Kings/4 Eights) but you need to be wary of the higher straight  and if I'm sitting with A  K, I'll win more than my fair share since you will catch your straight only about 16% and your flush less than 5% of the time  Strategy On Aces  Raise and make them pay to beat you  2c  6s  10d  This is a typical rainbow flop  not much to work with. Obviously the chance of hitting a set  but all of your straight draws are inside and would require a gutshot fill. In other words  to fill a 2,3,4,5,6 (or the 6,7,8,9,10) straight, you would need 2/3, 2/4, or 3/4 in hand and fill the remaining card on the turn or the river ... which is unlikely  Looking at this hand there is always a chance of a set, but more than likely, If you are sitting with a high pair or a couple of overcards  you have a great shot at winning this pot. Even someone playing a suited run  say 78 or 4  5 would have to draw a gut shot to connect  that's about 4/47.  7h  9h  10c  There is a possible straight on the flop  possible heart flush and obviously the possibility of a set of 7's, 9's or 10's  Part of the strategy of poker is knowing who's tight, and who is loose. When you look at a flop like this, what are the odds that the player or players you are up against would have gone in on a 6  8 or an 8  J. Trust me, loose players will catch this more than you think is possible, but a tight player is probably defending a high pair or his overcards. I would love to be sitting with Ah4h or KQ because even if the hearts or straight don't connect, I stand a good chance of winning on a high pair. 
Once you have seen the flop  Here is the thought process now you need to calculate the number of outs and whether or not to play the turn: Determine what the best possible hand is on the flop  In other words, if you had any two cards  what would be the best possible hand and what are the odds of someone having those cards  remember, it is much less likely that a player will have a 7  10 for a straight than let's say a AJ ... and if you do get called or another player is called, be aware of the situation and pay attention to what that player felt was strong enough to call with. Was he strong  and sucker the other player or was it a good card on the river. You can get a lot of insight into what people play by the cards they turn up on winning hands. Now you need to calculate the possible outs  not only for your hand, but for the best possible hand that can be made from those cards  If the flop is 2c  8s  10h, there is little chance of a straight flush vs. a flop of 10d  Kd  Ah where you need to look at the diamond flush, possible straights, probable high pairs, etc. Finally, determine how much is in the pot and what type of players are in the game  loose players will probably cost you more money if you lose and tight players will probably have one of the better hands you thought of when you are calculating potential outs  so if you are calling a $12 bet with 5 players and there was already $36 in the pot, you are now betting $12 to win $96  Does your hand have a 1 in 8 chance of winning? If there is a rake, maybe you need a 1 in 7 (or better) chance of winning. If you have a potential dominant hand Ah  10h that is suited and the flop is 9h  Kh  As where you have a high pair and four to a flush ... you need to consider whether to raise ... if they are going to beat you, make them pay  even if someone has a set or two pair  you have more outs on the flush draw and filling your Aces.
Here is a quick chart on the number of outs. This is useful information if you are trying to decide if you should call or raise on the turn or river. Note  on the river, you have seen an extra card  so the odds are based on 46 cards. Outs When Drawing One Card


Your Hand  Comments  Outs 

You have both a 4straight & 4flush and are drawing to both a straight or flush  Be aware of the runs on the board  If you have a low flush draw  be careful on the higher flush or connecting on a lower straight.  15  You have a set and are looking for a full house or quads  You have 1/47 on quads and 3/47 on each of the other 3 cards (9 total)  10  You have a 4flush and are playing for the flush  Obviously, you are in a greater position of strength if you are suited in the pocket  if there are three suited on the flop  be careful on overcards.  9  You have an overpair and you think you are up against either 2pair or the top pair on the board => looking for either a better 2pair or set  If you have a high pair AA or KK and you think your opponent has the high pair on the board or two pair (maybe he only raises on 2 pair) and the board is Q104, you have 2/47 to catch a set, a 3/47 to pair percentage to catch a second pair that doesn't help him ... don't forget that if a tight player is betting on that flop, they probably have the high pair on the board or possibly two pair. I'd take my chances with two pair  Aces and Fours.  5  You have a 4straight and are playing for the straight  If you have 5678, then you have a 4/47 chance of catching the 4 and a 4/47 chance of catching the 9.  8  You are sitting on a 4straight and you believe that your opponent has a 4flush what are the odds of you getting a straight and him not getting a flush  Now let's look rationally at this  You have eight cards to fill your straight, but two of them fill his flush  He has 9 outs to your 6  So if you do connect, and he is a tight player  you might want to make him pay to stay in  you might buy the hand. Turn it around, if you are the flush draw and don't connect  do you stay for the river??? Again it is how much is in the pot vs. the odds.  6  You have two overcards and you are up against what you believe is the top pair  You have AK and you believe that your opponent is in on a high pair. The board in 7s  9s  Qd. While the flush and straight draws are possible, in a heads up game  I'd believe that a pair of Tens or Queens is more likely. You have 3/47 odds on drawing either a pair of Kings or Aces, while your opponent has only a 2/47 chance of drawing a set but also has a 3/47 chance of drawing a 2nd pair.  6  You have a potential inside straight  what are the odds of drawing it?  I would be much more likely to draw to an inside straight if it also had 3 suited cards or an over card. 9s  10s  Qh  Ks is a much better play than 2c  3d  5s  6h. Again  look at the potential outs, and determine the return if you connect.  4  You have two pair, what are the odds of getting a full house  If you have AK and the flop is AK6, The chances of getting either pair on the turn is are 2/47 + 2/47   4  You have a pocket pair, what are the chances of getting a set on the turn  Since you only know the 2 cards in your pocket, and you have seen the flop (5 cards total)  the odds are 2/47  2 
