You know the feeling. You’re sitting at the poker table playing another hand of Texas HoldemPoker Game and here comes The Flop. You’re pretty sure the player sitting across from you is waiting on a flush or straight draw. No problem. You’ll just bet to get them out. Except it’s a limit game. Pot odds in limit games are often such that you can’t chase him. In fact, even with a flush or straight draw, he might just raise you. So you’ve bet all you’re allowed to and still can’t chase him. If he pulls that draw and gets the flush or straight, it just seems unfair. If you’ve been feeling that way, you’re better off playing in a game where the limit allows players to bet different amounts. Then you can push so hard that a poker player on flush or straight draw has to fold. If they call instead, the odds are against them because of your betting strategy.
When you’re playing no limit Texas Holdem, you can make a lot of money making bets and pushing the odds for that player with the flush or straight draw. You want to bet so that the odds aren’t right for that player to call, but little enough so he goes ahead and calls. In Texas Holdem you have to figure a player is on a flush draw. It’s the most common and the draw with the best chance to hit. So use it when you’re calculating a bet.
Let’s say your playing $5/$10 no limit holdem. The pot is up to $700 and it’s just you and one other player. He’s got about $1400 in poker chips in front of him. He’s sitting on a flush draw and, after counting up his outs, figures he’s got a 35% chance of pulling it. Now you have to bet enough so he’ll have the wrong odds to call. If you bet $450 that drives the odds to 39%, statistically the odds are against calling. But 39% isn’t all that dramatically different from 35%. So you’ve got to push hard. The pot’s $700? Then you bet $1200. Now the odds are 63%, and he’s not going to call.