How to Bet Before the Flop

The first bet you place in Texas Hold'em can make or break your entire game. Making this bet shows the other players how invested you are in your hand and whether or not you are an opponent to be feared. Here are some common situations and how to handle them:

You Are in the Early Position

When you are in the early position, you are the first bettor to make a decision. Here, you will give everyone else at the table insight into your hand based upon your call. Will you check, fold, bet, or raise the stakes? Early in the game, you should not worry about betting big because the blinds are often not worth stealing. Bet as normal with no aggression, but do not fall into the pattern of looking weak.

You Are in the Late Position

When you are in the late position, you have the advantage of seeing the decisions of all of the other players before you are required to act. If everyone checks, it is likely that they are not holding good cards. However, if raising and re-raising is occurring, it is likely that at least two of the players are holding cards they can really work with. Here, use the information provided to you by the other players to make your decisions.

Table Image

The other thing you should consider when betting before the flop is your table image. If you are known as an aggressive player, it is important to keep up this image even when your cards are bad. Suddenly checking may show weakness to the other players. Conversely, if you are a conservative player, do not make bold moves when you are holding an excellent pair. This may scare off the other players and cause them to fold prematurely.

Betting before the flop depends on several different factors including your position at the table and your overall table image. Use this information to make the best decisions that will help you win over your opponents.