The Intermediate Post-Flop Chart

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Determine the board texture. If the board is neutral, err on the side of wet.
  2. Go to the appropriate section regarding initiative. You will either have the initiative or you will not have the initiative and have it checked to you or face a bet.
  3. Choose the row of your relative hand strength tier for the current street.
  4. Perform the action in the box under the street you are playing. The chart is set up in an x/x format just like the basic chart.
  5. ~ means “decide” is used in some calling situations. You may sometimes want to call a bet with a showdown value hand if all of the draws have missed.

As you can see, the chart is set up similarly to the basic post-flop chart, except it is split into two separate sections, one for playing dry boards and one for playing wet boards. It inherently allows you to adjust strategies mid-hand, depending on what card hits the turn and river. Each street on the chart is to be treated as mutually exclusive and not necessarily as a continuation of the flop.

Sometimes you will flop a tier 4 hand that will suddenly become a tier 1, 2, or 3 tier hand on the turn. If you play three streets, your river tier is seldom the same as your flop tier. Always remember to play each street independently of the others. For example, let’s say you flop a tier 1 hand and bet withtheintentionofgettingall-inonthenextstreet. Thentheworstcardinthedeckhits,andyouno longer have a nut hand. The chart automatically switches you from the nut line and moves you to a more optimal betting strategy.

Sometimes, there is a gray area where a hand could fall into one tier or another. You will need to develop your skill at recognizing relative hand strength and consider the tendencies of the opposition when assigning tiers. This chart is designed only to provide default plays in a vacuum against average opponents. Situational factors may warrant a deviation from what the chart directs you to do. An understanding of relative hand values and opponent dependent reads will be necessary to maximize.

Often, a standard play listed on the chart will not be optimal against certain opponents. An exploitable extreme tendency will sometimes force you to make an adjustment to your line of play. Extremely aggressive opponents, as well as overly passive ones, can alter the relative strength of our holding and render particular actions on the chart incorrect. My advice is to use the chart only as a general guide and to work hard on moving away from relying on it as quickly as possible.

You may also have noticed that the intermediate chart tells you nothing about post-flop bet sizing. If you want to use the basic post-flop chart for now, until you get the hang of things, then by all means feel free. However, I strongly suggest you start putting more thought into your post-flop plays and try to get away from using static betting patterns as soon as possible.

The basic post-flop chart was devised to teach you how to build big pots with big hands and keep pots small with small hands. The intermediate post-flop chart does the same thing, except now you will base decisions on board texture. The composition of the board is extremely important for playing post-flop, as it affects both how fast we want to play our hands as well as how likely it is to connect to our opponents’ ranges. Additionally, our relative hand strength is also greatly determined by what type of board we are playing.

Bet sizing recommendations will no longer be made by the chart, because I feel that type of information would only be a crutch going forward. The way it has been designed is to teach you standard betting lines that will serve you well while you work on mastering post-flop play. I want you to spend time learning the why of bet sizing rather than just following a generic system. Chapter 12 will put you on the right path with regard to sizing your bets. But feel free to use the basic post- flop chart for a while, until you have developed your bet sizing aptitude.

What the basic and intermediate tier-based betting strategies have in common is that they are designed more for value than to disguise your ranges. For the purposes of playing small stakes and below where players are not paying much attention to what you are doing, balancing your ranges is not really necessary. Much more important is getting maximum value from your hands. In fact, over-thinking things against non-thinking opponents can lead to fancy play syndrome. As you move up in stakes and play against stronger players, it will be necessary to put more effort into balancing.

Basing Decisions On Flop Texture

For now, you only need to be able to recognize the difference between wet and dry boards. Once armed with that info, just use the post-flop chart that corresponds with your position, initiative, and the board texture. Due to the way my opening strategy is designed, you will mostly be using the post- flop “with initiative” chart. The only time you will use the other two charts are in limped pots.

I strongly suggest reviewing your sessions and going over every single post-flop decision you make. Think about why the chart directed you to make each action and what was to be gained. This will help you to begin to develop your post-flop acumen. To get you going in the right direction, here is a quiz which will help you get acclimated to the post-flop intermediate chart.

Condensed Intermediate Charts

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