Let us start off by awarding two different poker players the same hand against the same opponent in an online Texas hold’em no limit poker game. The hand is 7c-7d on the button and it has been folded around to the cut-off who makes it $3.50 to go. The stakes are $0.50-$1.00 and both players call on the button with their pocket sevens. The flop comes delightful and is 10-7-2 and the original raiser bets $6 into the $8.50 pot after both the blinds have folded.
The first player raises to $20 and is disappointed when they see their opponent fold. The sum result is that they win a total of $11 in total profit. However the second player calls the flop bet and the turn comes and is the Kd. The original bettor now looking at a $20.50 pot bets $15 and now our hero calls again making a $50.50 pot. The river card is another ten and the villain now shoves the river for his remaining $65. Our hero calls with his full house and wins a total profit of $91. Now compare that $91 to the $11 in profit of the other player and you can see the huge difference here.
Allow your online opponents the rope to hang themselves
Now many people would say that this one single hand of online no limit Texas hold’em is simply too short a sample size to be instructive. However what we have to remember here is that the hand was heads up. This means that even though our hero has flopped a very powerful hand, his opponent is likely to have flopped either fresh air or something mediocre. In actual fact he had Q-J here and raised before the flop which was a standard play. They then missed the flop but had the knowledge that you likely had missed as well.
So their poker strategy then became to fire a continuation bet to win the pot that way on the flop. This too was a fair line to take but when you called that bet then your opponent knew that you had something. When the king came on the turn then this card gave them an open ended straight draw. So the equity within the hand for them at that stage coupled with the fact that they could represent the king allowed them to continue the bluff. When they missed on the river then their only hope was to bluff and when the river paired the ten then they tried to represent maybe trip tens or a full house.
If your opponent wants the lead then let them have it
As long as your opponent is willing to keep on putting money into the pot in no limit online Texas hold’em then you have absolutely no reason to raise them out of the hand. Most of the time in heads up situations then your opponents will be c-betting weak holdings. So if you have something like a set or two pair or even top pair and top kicker then you have every reason to allow them to keep on betting. You certainly do not need the nuts or anything as strong as a set in online poker to allow a heads up opponent to keep the lead.