Using the flop to get information

The flop is also a good time to probe for information. In structured-limit games, bets and raises are cheaper here than they are on the next two rounds. You can often risk a small bet on the flop that will enable you to make the correct decision later in the hand when more money is at stake.

For instance, suppose you have a pair of pocket kings and raise before the flop, limiting the pot to you and two other players. Alas, the flop has an ace in it. In this situation, it's usually best to bet immediately on the flop. If you are called, you at least know that you are probably up against a pair of aces (or better) and can play accordingly. If you check, you show weakness and your opponents will probably bet at you on the turn. This puts you into an unpleasant guessing situation. An assertive bet on the flop might well have prevented the opposing bet on the turn, and told you what you needed to know.

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