Rick Rahim:I am Rick Rahim, Founder of the Executive Poker Tour here with professional poker player, Rhett Butler who also plays on the Executive Poker Tour. We are talking today about how to play No Limit Texas Hold em. And in this segment, Rhett and I are going to discuss when to call, when to raise your opponent and most importantly, when to fold because you may not have the best hand. So Rhett, in every round of poker, there is a round of betting. If you are unfortunate enough to be the first player to act or under the gun, you would have to go first and all the other players behind you have the benefit of seeing whether you check or bet. Let us suppose, Rhett that an opponent has bet into you and he has made a sizeable bet and now you have to decide what to do. What are you going to evaluate. Rhett Butler:Well, the key thing first is, what do I have now because if someone has bid into me, I want to see my cards. If my cards are very strong, it is a lot easier to make a play. If there we get to decide, do I want to call involved in a hand, do I want to raise the series at. That is the key in poker when you are not in early position. As the cards go along and if you are down towards the button or towards the end it is a lot easier to make a play because you have seen everybody act in front of you. So at that point, of showing the cards, do not go on to a hand with a weak hand or poor cards in early position. That is my recommendation.
Rick Rahim:So, a lot of the mistakes we see amateurs make are - let us suppose they have good position and they have the benefit of seeing a lot of players act ahead of them and they have -- maybe they are at the dealer or very close to the dealer button. Then let us say a lot of players simply call the big blind and so now four, five or six players have called or maybe even only two or three, then they look down at pretty junky cards but it is not a lot of money to put into the pot to call and see a flop. Now, lot of players might decide to do that. As you know, I am an aggressive player and I tend to do that as well. But Rhett, wouldn't it be better to fold if you have no money invested in that pot, you could fold, you lose no money what so ever and just wait for the next hand, Rhett, you are an excellent player and I see you do that a lot because you have the patience to just wait for premium hands.
Rhett Butler:Well, having the patience is key. And knowing when to raise is also a key and I have established a tight table image meaning that people only think I would play premium or top not chance. So, when I raise, typically people would give be the benefit of the doubt that I have good cards where I can actually make some money without having a good hand. But if you are going to play cards, the best thing to do is try to start with little bit better hands than your opponent and it tends to work, it is an easier way to win. Rick Rahim:Often times Rhett, when I play in the home games and the cash games, I see players who might have put a little bit of money in the pot just to see a flop and see if maybe they hit their hand. And what happens is they keep getting sucked in, meaning the flop comes where it improves your hand but not quite there and then there is two or three people betting ahead of them and they say well, if the card comes, it will make me a really good hand. So they decide to call or maybe even get aggressive and raise. The next card does not quite help them but gives them more ounce, meaning they have more ways to improve their hand and they end up putting a lot of money into a pot, when they started out with terrible cards and if they had just folded, they would not have lost any money at all.
Rhett Butler:A lot of people believe in theory of pot outs and pot outs is great unless you really feel that you are way behind or that you will be. So, that is where comes down, should I put the money in? Generally it is easier or safer not to put it in but people gamble in different ways and that is why we all have different styles and seeing a Flop isn't so bad, but if you do not hit it, it is probably better to get away from this. It is not going to cost you anything, just a little bit.
Rick Rahim:So I guess what, I might be kidding folks is, if you have a marginal hand and it is pre-flop, meaning, we have not seen a flop yet and you put no money in the pot, there is nothing wrong with folding, you lose zero, you do not lose anything and all you have is to wait for the next hand and get a better hand. SO, no shame and folding at that point but let us say there are lot of people that limp in or get into the hand and you look down and you have got a marginal set of cards, that might be a situation where you do just want to call instead of raise and see a flop. So we certainly understand what you are saying there that there is a lot of money in the pot, you call and then maybe the flop comes and you hit a very big hand and now you are going to get paid off. So, that is where we start talking about pot outs.
Rick Rahim:Now, third option Rhett would be raising. We have talked about, you can fold, you can call. But now raising is both a very winning strategy, yet a very dangerous strategy as well.
Rhett Butler:Well, the best poker players, I think are the more aggressive players because they are hard to read. You do not know if they have a four or five suited or paired jacks. When you can not tell what a player has and if he is constantly putting pressure at you, he is generally - they are going to win a lot or he is going to tend to lose a lot. But what I like is from the aggressive players; always raise the pot every time you are in it. Now that is a style that is tough to grow, across in the playing because it puts a lot of swings in but I think that type of player, especially in poker tournaments would be much better in the winning percentage; maybe not on the cashing percentage. But in the cash games they will put a lot of pressure on their opponents and really all of the game is trying to and still fearing your opponent's play position, not let your opponents have and then you are going to get paid off when you have a big hand. Rick Rahim:So there you have it. Basically the three things you can do when you are involved in a hand of poker is - you can check, you can bet or raise or you can simply call another player's bet. In the next segment, we will talk about bluffing your opponent in poker.