- The check, raise is a poker staple
- Not always allowed in real-world card-rooms, it is however allowed online
- Novice players rarely pull this move off
Of all of the moves that you can pull off during a game of poker, the check raise is arguably the most dynamic and effective. Because it is a brash and unfriendly tactic, some card rooms don’t allow the move, but you won’t have to worry about that when playing online. If you are going to play winning poker, then you have to be able to integrate this move into your play each and every time you head to the table.
A check raise, by definition, occurs when a player checks the action on his first turn, with the intention of making a raise on an opponent’s bet. This move is intriguing in poker games because it is confusing and keeps the other players on their toes. Another way to look at the check raise is that you are actually trapping an opponent, or making a play on their chips after showing significant weakness.
- Why Check-Raise?
The classic check raise move can be done for a number of reasons. Depending upon your intent with the move, you will find a different time when it might be acceptable. One time to use the check raise move is when you trying to bluff at a pot. You might also use the move when you want to force more money into the pot because of your strong hand. If you have played a good bit of poker, then you know that deception is a very important element of the game. If you can effectively use this move, it makes your much more unpredictable to the other players at the table. If you see a player using this move at a table, then you can guess that he or she is probably a seasoned poker player. Very rarely will novice players pull this off. Because of that, you can use the check raise move to show your opponents that you know what you are doing and that you demand respect.
- The Check-Raise Bluff
The key ingredient to pulling off a successful bluff in No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em is to show strength and resolve. You have to literally convince your opponents that you have a strong hand. How is this done? You could use a check raise to show this strength. You must remember that the check raise is usually a move that is more effective when only used against one opponent, as opposed to trying to use it against multiple opponents.
When you want to check raise an opponent during a bluff, you need to be in early position. This guarantees that you will get to check in order to pass the action onto your opponent. If and when he does bet out at the pot, you can show a huge amount of strength by coming over the top with a raise. Most good players will respect this move and lay down their hand if it is only marginal.
If you want to be successful with the check raise, then you need to do a few different things. You should first ascertain the knowledge that your opponent has a marginal hand. You can come to this conclusion by watching his betting patterns and analysing his tell signs. You should complete this move by raising at least two times the amount that your opponent bets. It is also good if you have some sort of hand to fall back on if the check raise doesn’t work. For instance, you might pull this off when you have a flush draw.
Piling onto the Pot with the Check Raise
You should use the check raise for more than just bluffing, though. If you happen to come up with a monster hand, then you need to extract maximum value out of that hand. In this case, the check raise can come in very handy. Here, you aren’t so much looking to show strength with the check raise, but you are looking to be a little more subtle with your move. If you are going to use the check raise in this scenario, you have to keep a few important things in mind.
You should try to use this tactic for adding to the pot when there are multiple opponents going against your monster hand. Unlike with the check raise for bluffing, this type of check raise shouldn’t be an over the top amount. You should bet enough to boost the pot, but not too much to scare off your opponents. Once again, the idea is to keep them around for as long as possible to get maximum value out of the hand.