Postflop in Position as the Caller
Now let’s examine how some of the previously discussed strategies change when we’re in position as the flatter. As we discussed briefly in the previous section, it is very difficult to get heads-up postflop as the flatter these days. Players are much better at making speculative calls behind you, and their squeeze game has gotten markedly better.
Do not flat the unsuited big cards expecting to get heads-up. When you flat know that most pots are going to be played multiway. Choose hands that will do well in this format, like suited connectors and suited aces. Suited gappers are okay, although you should avoid playing them versus competent competition, as they can make a number of costly second-best draws. They also work really well as 3-bet semi-bluffs, so consider putting them in that range as well.
If you have a group of players with low continuation bet numbers you can flat them more liberally in position, especially if the big blind player is tight. The big blind player might not be able to fold to the preflop bet, but if he normally plays things a little closer to the vest he’s unlikely to field many normal-sized bets on the flop.
This is good in conjunction with a player who check/folds a good deal of the time as the preflop raiser. Most multiway pots are going to consist of you, the big blind, and the raiser. If the big blind player is tight and so is the raiser, you’re very likely to get two checks and two folds. This doesn’t give you too many more pots, but it’s enough to help you start flatting the suited gappers like J-9s. If your opponents are a bit tougher it’s best to fold those almost-connected hands.
Postflop Out of Position as the Caller
This is going to be a short section, but for completion’s sake it is necessary to recap what we know and add a few pertinent details. We already discussed in the section “Preflop 3-bet Flatting” in Chapter 7 why generally we should not be flatting larger 3-bets unless we have some spectacular read on our opponents’ hysterically wide 3-betting capabilities or postflop ineptitude.
Here we’re going to discuss something I see often: a gentleman leads out of position on a rainbow board, the player behind them raises, and the initial bettor flats. The turn changes nothing. The initial raiser checks and folds. While this exchange might appear fairly innocuous in reality it’s a glaring leak. The initial bettor leads there and calls with little value, expecting the player to slow down on the turn. That is a relic of a bygone era. For better or worse, today’s players do not shut down when their flop raise didn’t work on the first go around.
Technically, there should be a great deal of logic in calling, especially versus small raises. The wager the raiser made was small in comparison with the pot, and conceivably could be done with a wide array of hands. The raiser could then shut down on the turn, and let the hand go, assuming that his raise generally worked enough of the time. For some reason, typical players are incapable of this. It doesn’t make much sense on paper. If you think the initial raiser is flatting too much why would you do the flop raise to begin with? It’s hard to gauge this tendency, because the hands don’t get turned over nearly as much when such a strong bet is made. However, it’s known that these days if you flat a small raise without much of a plan you are losing money.