In this week's edition of Poker Nation's blogs about poker, we have, POKER TIPS: TURN AND RIVER PLAY
Following the flop, there are two more community cards that are left to be dealt – the turn and the river, with a round of betting in between. Before investing even more money in the pot, you must ask yourself: is it worth your while to see these cards? The answer to this question is straight-forward, carry on if:
1.You hold what you think is the best possible hand
2.You are one card shy of obtaining the best hand, if the right card appears (a strong draw)
More experienced individuals even try their hand at bluffing. Beginners should try this against one, or at most two opponents.
PLAYING THE TURN:
CASE A: WHEN YOUR HAND IMPROVES
Let’s assume you get a straight or flush. So, what now? Here is what to do when you find yourself with a strong hand following the turn,
(i)In late position
If an opponent bets, you should raise (unless there is a good enough reason not to). Also, if none of your opponents have acted, it would be wise to bet.
(ii)In early position
If you are certain that one of the players will bet, check first, then raise later.
CASE B: WHEN YOUR HAND DOES NOT IMPROVE
Got a bad turn card? Weigh the pot odds against your chances of getting a decent card on the river. If the odds aren’t in your favour, it’s time to fold.
But there is no need to fret. Getting a lousy turn card doesn’t mean it is game over for you. It is possible that the turn card hasn’t aided any of your opponents either. At this stage it is crucial that you read your opponents’ actions. The way they bet should give you a clear idea regarding how strong a hand your opponents hold.
PLAYING THE RIVER:
When you make it to the river, you’ve got a firm idea of what you possess and it is time to make the most of it.
You got the card you needed? Good. Go ahead and bet. Odds are your opponent will call, even if they are beaten.
Often times, case a never happens, which complicates things further.
You have somewhat of a decent hand and your opponent puts in a bet. For small pots, you’d normally fold. But with all that money in it, it’s not easy. If you call and lose, it will only cost you another big bet. On the other hand, if you fold and your opponent was bluffing, you’ll end up kicking yourself.
Thumb rule: If you feel that there is even a slight chance that your opponent is bluffing, make that call. In other words, don’t fold unless you’re completely sure that your opponent isn’t one to bluff.
Of course, this won’t work against two or more opponents. Namely, because if one bets and another calls, odds are that one of them actually has a good hand. In such a scenario, it’s wise to fold.
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