Hello, readers of Wincatchers. In this article, we are going to refer to a common but worth strategy for poker: check-rise, a really easy movement than can be dome by any player, expert or beginner, and I am sure you have used it, even without realizing of that.
It is important to underline that this movement should be used only in special circumstances and you need to know the reason you first “check” and then “rise” to play Texas Hold’em poker.
What is a check-raise?
In general terms, check-rise is a type of poker strategy that can be used in any of the three betting rounds of the post-flop: flop, turn and river. You will need at least three steps to perform this movement:
- First: Player A passes on betting (check)
- Second: Player B bets
- Third: Player A raises.
This technique is performed when you check the moment the action gets to you, with the intention of raising if your opponent bets. As you can imagine, check-raise is a very strong movement in poker and can be developed for any player.
Is it really a good movement?
Definitely, yes. The check–raise technique can be used bluffing your opponents out of pots and making them to put more money in the pot if you have a good hand.
Another good reason for this is that you can become more unpredictable to your opponents by using it, as it is not usual to find amateur players doing it.
So, let’s consider some benefits of using check-raise as a strategy for poker, so that you can really experience how to bet in poker:
To defend against players with more advantageous position
Some players take advantage of their position to bet against players who check. To face this kind of players, you should use check-rise on the flop more often. However, in order to do that, you should have a good hand, just like three of the kind, two pairs or a draw project.
Making check-raise with a weak hand is also possible, but probably not a good idea, as the pot may be big and hard to manage without good position. Against players with a potential good pair, you should use semi-bluff sometimes.
As in all the strategies, you should not abuse of the check-raise, especially if you are in the stage of learning how to play poker, because our opponents could notice and take note of your strategies.
Put pressure on your opponents
As we stated before, there are some players that abuse of position bets and put pressure on their opponents, as in the case of those players who raise more than 70% of the times in which they are in button or cut-off position.
In this situation, you can use the pressure against them by using this special technique. This way, all their strength turns against them along with the pressure. It is a very good option to balance the chances.
Raise the pot
This movement gives you the possibility to raise the pot and, consequently, maximize your winnings if your opponents decide to continue playing.
If you hit a monster hand, you will try to get as much money of your opponents as possible and this strategy can be really useful. However, you should use it more passively in order to avoid scaring all those opponent out of the hand.
Force your opponents to make mistakes
It is important for you to bear in mind that using the check-raise movement as strategy can be a doubled-edge sword, as it can make your opponents to be all-in with a weaker hand than you have, but it is also possible that they have a better one and you end up losing money.
Check-raise on the Flop
On heads-up, very often we complete on small blind to avoid playing big pots without position. In this situation, you can make a check-rise on the flop to get your opponent in trouble, as he can have a decent hand but no information of our hand when you use this movement.
As a general rule, you should not make a check-rise against passive opponents who make their bets only when they have a good hand. In those cases, it is much better to make a check/fold or check/call if you have good chances of winning.
Against aggressive players who make their bets mainly with position, you can use this movement only against those who fold more than 50% of the times they face a check-raise. Remember that this information is essential for you to make better choices.
Check-raise on the Turn
Making a check-raise postflop, specifically on the turn, can be useful for you to win a hand and avoid having an unexpected twist on the river, even though, professional players with a good hand and no position prefer to make a check/call on the turn and bet on the river.
At the micro limit levels, is it advisable to use the technique with really strong hands to optimize winnings, just like flush, straight, three of a kind or good double two pairs.
Check-raise on the River
Using this movement on the river is an extreme action that is usually accompanied by a very strong hand or as a bluff to win the whole pot in the very last moment.
At the micro limit level, you should be careful about bluffing and not using it almost never because a beginner player will not fold easily after making many bets.
So, it is only not important to know if the opponent has or not a strong hand, you must also be sure that he will fold in case you do not have nothing good.
Overall, check raise is a very useful strategy in poker that allows you to pass at the very beginning when you have no position to re-raise your opponent betting. You should not abuse of this tool, but it is important for you to have it always in hand in case of necessity.