Post-flop strategies, like most of the other strategy points you are likely to encounter and analyze in the game of Texas Hold ‘Em, is a very complex thing. The further you get away from the pre-flop area of the game, the more combinations exist and therefore the harder it is for you to play well. In a game of incomplete information and constantly changing variables, post-flop strategy is rather difficult to get down perfectly. However, the basic post-flop strategy is quite easy to understand and implement and it is listed below.
You should try to follow this post-flop strategy pretty closely until you are good enough with the game to be able to read opponents and change things around a bit. These strategy points are based on the hand you have on the flop and are for hands that are harder to play. Most people know instinctively how to play flopped straights, sets, flushes and top pair top kicker, so other hands are covered below.
Anytime that you do not have a pair on the flop, you need to be cautious about proceeding. Your best case scenario here, assuming you just have two overcards and you have no other draws, is that you have six outs (three outs to hitting each pair). This at best gives you a 3 to 1 shot to have the best hand on the showdown from the flop, assuming of course that your opponent doesn’t improve to two pair, trips, or something else. Caution is the best thing to do here, especially if an opponent shows strength by betting on the flop. If they do not do that, you can consider trying to take the pot away with a ˝ pot sized bet and this is something you should almost automatically do in most games if you happen to be the pre-flop raiser.
If you are following a conservative pre-flop strategy, you are very rarely going to end up with second pair or third pair situations on the flop and in most of the situations you end up in where that is applicable, it is going to be pretty obvious that you should fold if an opponent shows strength. A good example would be if you entered a pot from late position with A-T and the flop comes T-J-Q before two of your opponents bet and raise respectively. It is rather obvious here that someone has at least a Queen and very likely someone might already have a straight (considering two cases of showing strength) and therefore you should give the hand up.
On the other hand, if you are in the big blind with 5-7 and the flop comes 5-8-J, you should try and bet if nobody has bet by the time the action comes to you. People in the big blind could easily pair fives and eights and the opponents know this. Try to gauge the chances that an opponent would have a Jack in their hand and if they don’t seem like they would, try to take the pot away.