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Always Think Ahead in Poker

Making reasoned decisions under pressure is certainly a crucial part of playing winning poker and free texas hold em, but by planning ahead you can save yourself the headache of making quick decisions.

In online poker it is important to play the button aggressively; indeed, opening virtually any two suited cards in this position is a basic requirement. Consider a scenario where the small blind is a tight-passive player and the big blind isn’t very skilled post-flop. In this situation any raise from the button is likely to get past these players and earn you some money.

Let’s assume, however, that the player in the big blind doesn’t fold pre-flop and decides to donk bet (bet into the pre-flop raiser) for less than half the pot. In this situation it is very unlikely they have a strong hand because it would be much more conventional for them to check-raise your inevitable continuation bet. Because their bet looks weak it’s, therefore, wise poker decision to call when you have any sort of hand.

If your opponent continues to bet into you on the turn and river then it’s important to plan for this eventuality and decide on your moves ahead of time. At the poker table it’s always wise to allow your opponents to take enough rope to hang themselves.

Indeed, you must always think about the reasoning behind your decision and have a plan for how you will continue on later streets. Being prepared for all eventualities before they happen will make sure that you are never put to an impossible decision. Moreover, it will allow you to create opportunities to bluff your opponent whenever you can credibly represent a strong range of hands.

Poker is a game of forward thinking, not backwards acting.

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