One of the most significant ways amateur players fail to optimize their winnings is by failing to make a Value Bet at the end. This bet is made when you believe that you have the best hand and want to be paid more, and it also includes when you want to bet into the hand as a bluff to avoid an almost certain losing showdown. For instance:

You raise on A♠, Q♠ and your opponent calls. The flop comes: Q♦, 7♣, 4♦.  You make a continuation bet and your opponent calls. The turn comes: 3♣. You bet again, and your opponent calls. The river comes: 2♣

Should you check or should you bet? The temptation is to check. You might be worried that your opponent bets, you will call anyway-it is better to be betting out. Secondly, if he has made a Flush, this is a freak occurrence and can’t be helped. If he/she had trips your opponent would have raised on the flop or turn? It is more likely that he/she holds something like KQ or QJ. If you bet now, perhaps 15 to 25 percent of the pot, you may get a further call-and this is where you can make extra money.

If your opponent re-raises you, you should choose to fold, and you have saved yourself having to call what would probably have been an even bigger bet if you had checked the river. Your bet has therefore acted not only for value if you are winning, but as a blocker bet (against a bigger raise) if you are losing.

Value bets can occur at any time in the hand. These are situations where you believe you hold a winning the hand and you should be making your opponent pay to stay in the hand. Simple Poker, if sensibly played will yield substantial profits against all but the best players. By and large, you won’t find these players in the low-and mid-stake online games.

Know the Basic Odds

The majority of players disregard even the most basic odds when playing at internet poker sites. Certainly, Poker is not an entirely odds-based game, hence the reason it is so popular. However, you should at least know the basic odds, and the simplest way to calculate them is the “Rule of 2 and 4”.

This is how it works: You wonder whether you should call a bet made by an opponent. You have four cards to a Flush: what are the odds of hitting it?

Calculate your odds (the cards which you believe will win the hand for you), and then if there are still two cards to come (the turn and river), multiply this figure by four and it will give you the rough percentage chance of hitting your card.

If there is only one card to come (the river), multiply the number of Outs by two, in turn this will provide you with a rough percentage chance.

So, with nine Outs to hit your Flush, on the flop you have 9×4=36 percent chance of hitting your Flush, on the turn you have 9×2=18 percent chance of hitting your Flush. Now you can calculate whether it’s worth it to call or raise.

Of course you have to anticipate your opponent’s play on the next round of betting and whether and whether or not you will get paid more if you do hit your Flush. If you think you will, then you can calculate the cost using “Implied Pot Odds” what you might think you might win if you hit your hand. But, beware we’ve heard the phrase “Implied Odds” used as an excuse for a whole multitude of dreadful and costly decisions.