If you have a good hand, you should be
raising. For one thing, if you call and
then hit a draw, it will be obvious when
you change direction and start raising.
Of course, there are exceptions: If
there have already been two pre-flop
raisers, you wouldn't want to raise a
pot with Jacks.
it's best to not bet your draws if more
than a couple of other players are in
Sign of Weakness
Especially in No-Limit games, a player
who calls constantly indicates a fish
saying "Show me what you've got."
Calling hands too often can easily lead
to trouble. If your hand isn't good
enough to raise, it's probably not good
enough to play.
If you call pre-flop, most good players
will bet you out of a pot that you
should have won. On the other hand, if
you raise pre-flop, it shows strength,
and many players who missed the flop
will fold to your bets.
Raising: A Sign of Control
Raising a hand shows dominance, because
it reveals your serious intentions. If
your opponents miss the flop, you'll
take no prisoners. This applies to any
type of poker game, but especially to
No-Limit games. In a Limit game, it's
more difficult to bet people out of pots
because betting is usually small and
constant; it's generally easy to bluff a
short-stacked player when you raise,
When you raise a hand, you should then
usually bet the flop if there are less
than three other players in the pot. If
you show strength pre-flop, your
opponents will play cautiously, even if
they hit the flop; players rarely hit
the flop enough to call your raise.
An example of successful pre-flop
raising: A couple of players limp in
pre-flop, even though one has a pair of
8s in his hand. With an Ace-King in the
hole, you raise. One of the opponents
who limped in calls your raise.The flop
does you no good (J-Q-5). But you bet
out, and the opponent folds, even though
he had the better cards.