Winning Poker Play – Playing in the River No Limit Hold ‘Em


There are four betting rounds in Texas Hold em. If there’s no limit betting, that’s four opportunities to earn an opponent’s entire stack. The fact that there are so many opportunities for high-stakes betting is what Doyle Brunson called No Limit Hold ’em in the “Cadillac of Poker” in his original Super System. With so many opportunities to extract value from your hand, a talented poker player can make a lot of money against this game. Only two betting rounds with traditional draw poker (one before and one after drawing).

To be a winning poker player you need to have a unique strategy for each of the betting rounds: pre-flop, flip on, turn on, and finally on the river. Your bets should tell a consistent story: either representing strength or weakness as the cards continue to fall. Sometimes you want to represent a strong hand as weak, or a weak hand as a strong one. But either way, by the time the river rolls around you have a clear goal in mind. You need to judge your strength, your opponent’s hand, and then the size of the pot, and then how you want to play the river dominoqq.

After the river card has fallen, you and your opponent will have one of three types of hands. Classifying your own hand strength and matching it up to your opponent:

A weak hand, like a busted draw – if you’ve missed your draw and have nothing (except maybe ace-high), it’s bluff or check-fold time. Calling by Bluff You Can’t, and You Can’t Win a Showdown Unless your opponent has some type of draw. You are in need of a bluff to work on the river, and whether it’s worth taking a chance on. This is where the most inexperienced players make their biggest mistake: novice players bluff too much on the river when their opponent has shown a clear interest. The river is a last-minute bluff for a good while, especially if you’ve seen the strength in the past. Betting is a showdown for looking at three prior rounds. He likes his cards and the strength of a random, last-minute show to fold. This is especially true if he is a healthy bet on the turn. Most players are not chasing after a healthy bet on a turn, but they are getting more and more expressive odds to continue drawing. Tricky (or incompetent) players may be catching the implied odds of a miracle card on the river more than make up for it, but this is usually possible. Summary: If you have a weak hand and your opponent also has a weak hand, you should bluff. But note that your opponent is only likely to be weak if he or she has no interest in the pot (i.e. betting on the earlier rounds). You should also avoid the bluffing of the river card. After a big bluff on the river passively checking out the earlier streets are not very believable if a card like diamonds comes on the river. If you have a weak hand on the river and your opponent has a medium-strength hand (the one-pair, probably not even the top pair), then the board is very frightening and a scarecard. Scary boards include board with potential straights, flushes, or a card like an ace falls on the river. If you’re going to bluff on a scary board, your opponent can lay down his hand, making sure you have a healthy amount of bluff: 2/3 of the pot or more. The stronger your opponent, the more you’ll need to bet on a laydown. A tight player that you really need to make sure that you can actually lay a hand down: you should never try to bluff loose, calling stations. If you have a weak hand and your opponent has a strong hand, you check-fold. You were probably chasing with some kind of draw, and your opponent has been consistently aggressive throughout. You cut your losses and fold, even if your opponent doesn’t have the nuts. If it’s too risky to bluff your opponent is likely to have a two-pair or better.
A medium-strength hand, like a pair – one of the key rules of playing in the river. If you have a hand that could win a showdown, but there are a lot of hands that could beat you, you don’t want to have more money. A top-of-the-line pairing with your objective (even if it’s the top pair, depending on how threatening the board is) is as cheap as a showdown. Now, if you’re a loose, aggressive player against the position, it might be a cheaper way to cut a lead than to bet on your opponent (which could be a bluff). So you can bet a medium-strength hand on the river defensively, head to the big bet. But the goal remains the poker.

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