You need to be aggressive when you are against two or less opponents. The reason is that if you hit a pair on the flop, the likelihood that your opponents have also hit a pair is reduced. If you check, and your opponents also check, you have missed an opportunity to win the pot.
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This play will not work as often if you have three or more opponents in the hand, and if there are multiple draws on the flop. The reason is that the more opponents, the less likely that everyone has missed. And with a flop with multiple draws, your opponents my decide to play their draws.
You have A♥-10♥. It is early in the tournament. You have $4,000. The blinds are $50-$100. In an early position, you call the blind. Another player, with $2,800, calls. The player on the button, with $6,500, raises to $400. The blinds fold. You call the raise, while the other caller folds. There is $1,050 in the pot.
The flop comes Q♦-10♣-4♥. You are heads up, and have second pair. If you check, your opponent may also check if he missed the flop and wants to see the turn cheap. And, if he bets, you have to decide if you want to call with second pair.
Be aggressive against the pre-flop raiser. Use a probe bet. Bet $300.
You have 8♠-7♦ on the big blind. It is the middle of the tournament. The blinds are $400-$800. You have $28,000. A player limps under-the-gun, and another player in late position calls. Both players have slightly more chips than you. The player in the small blind folds. There is $2,800 in the pot.
The flop comes A♠-9♦-7♣. You flopped third pair. What should you do?
You can check, and avoid trouble. Or you can seize the opportunity and bet out. If no one has an Ace in their hand, it will be very difficult for one of your opponents to call your bet. Even if you are called in these situations, you can improve on the turn. But overall, it makes more sense to be aggressive and make a play for the pot. Use a probe bet. Bet $500.
Even if you are in the worst position, lead out with a bet on the flop when you make a pair against two or less opponents.