When playing poker ask, ‘What is my goal for this hand?’

In Omaha high-low, no starting hand has intrinsic power – it must mesh with the flop. If it doesn’t fit the flop, fold it as fast as you would a rag hand. Before you play a pot, always ask yourself, “What do I hope to make with this hand?” Then determine what you’re looking for on the flop. Ask, “Which three cards will make my hand on the flop?”
What is the ideal flop for my hand?
Picture your ideal three-card flop. For example, if you are holding the A-3-4-K say to yourself, “I’m looking for 2-5 on the flop and a high spade on the turn.” This is the ideal flop for your hand.
Of if you’re holding the A-K-J-J, your ideal flop is two or three diamonds, a 10 or a queen, a jack with (ideally) no overcards, an ace, or (bingo!) Q-J-10, giving you a made straight, trips and the nut (even royal) flush draw.
What is the ideal hand for this flop?
When deciding how to proceed, ask Do I hold it?” And, “Is there a player in this hand who almost always enters pots with the four cards that would best fit this flop? Who is it?”
When the dealer turns the first three cards revealing 77 percent of the cards available (including the four that you hold), you are faced with the most important decision you will make – hold ‘em or fold’em. Read ’em and weep, or read ’em and reap.
Fit or Fold
This is the cardinal principle for deciding whether to continue with a hand. No matter how pretty your hand was going into the flop, if it doesn’t fit, fold it. For example, when you hold high diamonds and the flop comes with clubs that don’t help your draw, fold. Or if the board shows all low cards and you hold a high hand, fold because the low hands have the potential to make wheels and low straights that can capture the entire pot.
One of the biggest mistakes poker players make is falling in love with a pre-flop hand and not being able to break their engagement with it. Chronic callers and loose players lose mega chips by not separating their emotions from their card sense. They chase in a dogged effort to make their beautiful hands come in. But no matter what you’ve heard, beauty does not lie in the eyes of the beholder: It lies in fitting the flop.
When you’re tempted to continue with a hand that doesn’t fit the flop, try the “3-W’s” affirmation for poker players – wait, watch, win – to remind yourself to remain focused on your goals.
• Wait for a premium starting hand.
• Watch for a flop that fits it.
• Win your share of the money.
Of course, affirmations aren’t substitutes for skill and discipline – but they do augment them with a positive mental attitude that helps keep you off tilt and on target.

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