Poker Articles

Check Raising

The check raise is a very useful Poker play, it's likes pringing an ambush on your opponent and it will change your table image from weak to strong. There are off course factors to consider before using the check raise but if you use them right it will keep your game dynamic and unpredictable.

Theoretically the check raise is a fairly simple move, check to your opponents, when your opponents bet, you re-raise them. Your re-raise comes as a surprise since your initial check showed weakness while the re-raise shows strength. The check-raise move only makes sense when you're out of position.

The check-raise comes with risk, but let's assume that a TAGG player is behind you and that you have made top two pair. If you would make a bet, this player would probably fold unless he has a big hand. This reduces the possible profits from the hand. But if you would use a check raise this could increase the payoff. The player will fold if you bet but every player likes to bet into a checked flop, so your opponent will probably bet if you check. Now you have the chance to take the pot AND his bet. So that's a great increase in your potential profits in the hand.

Apart from winning a hand, the check-raise is a good play to the keep aggressive players to your left off balance. Players with the tendency to constantly bet will now have to think twice before making too many plays/bluffs. This will narrow their range of playing hands, since they will have to adjust to you. It's a great table image to have players fear you.

The risk to the check raise is that the players behind you can just check too, providing them a free card and the chance to outdraw you. Lets's assume that you are holding a medium pocketpair and made trips on the flop. This would be a great opportunity for a check-raise. But you'll have to consider what kind of cards your opponent has and his tendency to bluf. You probably have the best hand but if there are draws on the board there's a risk that he will outdraw you. So you'll have to consider if you're going to bet your hand or check it and consider the probability that your opponents will bet and that a potential free card could break your hand.

The ideal strategy is to use the check-raise but make sure that you don't overuse it, you want to avoid showing particular patterns that good players will see. Mixing it in with other plays will you keep your opponents guessing. When you have the nuts, you can also continue to call the flop and turn to wait with your re-raise on the river. It's so cool to make the nuts on the flop in a poker game and have a fool bet the flop, turn and river.

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