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What To Do When You’ve Flopped A Monster

Article By: Todd Brown

Maybe you were set mining, or maybe you were splashing around with suited connectors. Whatever you were doing, the flop gods were kind to you and you flopped a monster. There's only one thing on your mind as you gaze at the three perfect cards that came on the flop - how do I extract the most money possible on the from my opponents?

There is no "best" way to extract money from your opponents. Like so many other things in no-limit hold'em, the answer depends on the type of players you're up against, your position, the pre-flop play, and the texture of the flop.

For example, if the people in the pot with you are lunatics, you can bet to your heart's content and they'll raise and re-raise you until you're all in. However if you're up against tight players, you have to pray that they have a good hand too or you won't get a penny out of them. With tight players, you'll have to play carefully. A good player will lay down top pair if the action gets too heavy. Here are a few ways to extract money from the average player when you flop a monster:

Extracting From Late Position

Late position is the easiest position for extracting. All you have to do is let the other players bet for you and call every bet until the river where you can raise any amount you think will get called.
If your opponents are betting small, you have a decision to make. You can either be content to call the little bets or you can raise to try to build the pot. In this situation, I usually raise for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that players will think you're stealing the pot when you raise a ridiculously small bet. The second reason is that they may have a decent hand now, but another coordinated card could scare them off. It's better to build a pot early if you can.

Extracting From Early Position

Extracting from early position is more difficult. If you raised pre-flop and you have one or two opponents left, just bet. Your opponents will expect it whether you made a hand or not and it will look suspicious if you don't. You'll have to hope someone made a hand or wants to float you. However, you should check the turn. This move says that you missed the flop and your bet was an attempt to steal. If your opponent bets the turn, you should check-raise them. If your opponent has nothing, you won't get any more out of them anyway and if they do have something, they'll think you're trying to push them off the hand.

If you weren't the original raiser, just check to them. They'll bet and you can put in your check-raise on the flop. This move is more likely to get called than calling the flop then leading out on the turn which is usually interpreted as a very strong hand. The check-raise on the flop looks like a steal attempt.

It's great when you flop a monster. You're almost certain to win the hand. When you flop one of these beauties, you need to think about extraction, and the check-raise is a great way to extract money.