My Poker Education

I’ve recently been playing poker online, and it’s an entirely different beast than informal home games. I’m actually sitting there with my book, looking up which hands I should and shouldn’t play before the flop. It’s going to take a while before I internalize all of this, which is why I haven’t started playing with real money yet. And even then, I’m going to start with the micro-limit games.

I had a hand that I think I played wrong. I was in the small blind with Kh-Qs. Lots of callers, no raises, so I decide to call. It wasn’t a raising hand, so I think that was the correct decision. The flop comes Jh 3h 8h. I have the second nut flush draw. Acting first, I decide to bet. I get 2 folds and 3 calls. I think I’m supposed to check-raise in that situation. I bet out not because I wanted to be fancy, but because the table was passive. I thought that no one would bet out, which had often been the case. I also thought that a check-raise would force everyone out, and that nobody was going to raise me. I figured a bet would get the most money in the pot. I also believed that playing aggressive on the flop might get me a free card on the turn, but a check-raise would probably be better for that. I think the assumption about nobody raising me was a poor one. Somebody may have had the flush made already or had the Ah; there were 5 other people in the flop. On the turn, the 9h makes my flush, so I decide to bet out. I get three calls, and then I do the same on the river and get three calls. My post-flop play is something I still need to work on, but I think I played it okay on the turn and river.

At some point, I hope I understand better what to do in this situation because I’m still a little confused. There are also tons of odds that I don’t have memorized yet. Ugh.

The part of my game that has improved the most is folding before the flop. I’m throwing away trash. I’ve also learned that I should be player tighter or looser depending on my position. Another thing I learned is that certain cards I thought were okay to play are actually not that great in a 9-person game. (Example: Unsuited big card with small card, like K5o.)

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