If you are a beginner in poker, and especially one in online poker, one of the things you may be concerned about is when to bet in the preflop.
After all, betting in the preflop in online poker, or at any other place you play poker, sets you up for the rest of the game. Make your decisions well, and you could very well win the whole pot. Make them badly, and you could find yourself folding.
Making decisions in the preflop — The most important thing among everything when playing before the flop is thinking.
Look at your hand carefully, and consider all of the variables. Do you have combinations with a good chance of winning? Or is folding and waiting for the next hand your best strategy? Think about your opponents. What type of players are they? How are they likely to play?
The preflop is where you set yourself up for how the rest of the hand will play. It is also where you decide to abandon the hand if betting on it is too risky.
Where is your position compared to your opponents? — If your position is over your opponents in the preflop, it often makes sense to play the hand. If you do not have position over your opponents, unless you are very skilled in online poker, it makes more sense to let a too risky hand go.
Betting in the preflop — Once you have taken a close look at your hand, and assessed the situation you are faced with, it is now time to decide on betting in the preflop.
Folding, calling or raising are your three options, with folding or raising the two decisions you should be making the most. Of course, you can call if you want to, but this should only be done if a raise has not happened before you.
Calling will usually put you in a weaker position, and may alert your opponents to your hand, which in many cases will be weak. That is why, if a raise has not been made already, and you are confident in your hand, you should raise. If it has been, folding is often your best decision so you can try your luck further on a new hand later in the game.
The size of your preflop bet — If entering the pot seems like a good strategy with the hand you are holding, it is now time to decide how much you are going to raise by.
If you are playing a winning strategy, you want to get rid of as many of your opponents as possible. That is why raising by four or five times the big blind is key. It may seem like a large bet to make in the preflop, but it can definitely pay off.
For one thing, this will usually persuade players with weaker hands to fold, thus reducing the number of your opponents. With less opponents, you increase your chances of winning.
If someone has raised before you, however, and your hand is marginal, now is the time for you to fold. Finally, if you are looking for a site to play on, give poker poker 99 a shot.