Capitalizing On The Check-Raise
Poker Pro Series
The check-raise is one of the stronger moves a player can make in poker game.
The play sends an instant message to an opponent that you either have a strong hand or that you’re putting them to the test, and are forcing the action in an attempt to take the pot from them.
Properly utilized, the check-raise will be dependent on the situation in which you find yourself.
Sometimes it’s a play to steal the pot, while other times it will be used to defend a lead you may have.
On rare occasions you can even use the play to build the pot when you have a monster hand.
Check-raising to steal the pot is best attempted against an opponent who can easly be forced off a medium-to-weak-strength hand.
Check-raising novice or loose players when you have nothing will often get you in trouble because those players are much less likely to fold their hands.
They don’t give you credit for a hand, and you’ll be in a tough situation out of position after the next street.
Save the check-raise moves for players whom you expect to take a stab at the pot with weak holdings if no one has raised the action before them.
When you check-raise an opponent who is trying to make a move for the pot, you’ll almost always pick it up right there.
If you do get called, you can either fire another barrel at the pot or you can get off the hand and hopefully you’ll get a free card from your opponent if they also decide to check.
The type of opponent you’re in the hand with should help you determine whether or not to make another bet into your opponent after they called the first one.
Flopping the lead in a hand, when you’re out of position, is usually a situation where you should consider the check-raise.
Unless you have the nut hand, your hand will be vulnerable somehow.
To bet into your opponent or opponents will rarely be to your advantage.
Betting your hand for value in this situation creates a lot of question marks if you get called.
But a check-raise will tell you where you’re going to get your action from, and after your check-raise you’ll most likely win more than you would have if you decided to bet out your big hand right away.
This type of situation usually requires that you have a big lead, and that you make a big raise so that any drawing opponents will have to make a bad play to stay in the hand against you.
Make sure that possible straight and flush draws pay at least the size of the pot to draw another card.
Get your chips in there when you have the best of it, and don’t wait until they draw out to a bigger hand before you make your move.
When you are in an aggressive situation, like heads up or shorthanded games with aggressive players, check-raising to build a pot can be a tricky way to get an opponent to play when they normally may not have.
If the action has been going back and forth between you and another player, check-rasing would look more like a weak move than a strong one.
It looks like you’re just trying a re-steal, and players with big cards will give you action because they feel you’re just trying to push them around.
You’ll be able to value bet all the way to the river, getting called by an opponent who doesn’t believe that you would have check-raised with a big hand in that situation.
by Dean Stone
So don’t forget to apply what you learn, and win big time at Odds Maker Poker Room…