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Poker Guide Part 6: The all powerful check-raise!

The most powerful move in poker!

Check raising is the one of the sneakiest techniques in the world of poker. We’re going to take you through how to bamboozle your opponents and trick them into thinking you have a poor hand, when in-fact you have a bloody fantastic hand!

This is done in a very specific way, so let’s take a look at how to implement this brilliant technique.

What is check-raising?

Check raising is rather simple; you pretend you have nothing by checking and once somebody raises, you place a hefty re-raise to throw them off the mark. It’s a classic skill that has been used and abused by professional poker players on the WSOP Tour for decades. Check raising is now at the point where professionals can spot it instantly and has even been banned in some tournaments.

What we’re looking to teach you is a tactic that the pros know, but the regular online poker player isn’t particularly familiar with.

Moves like the check-raise should be done with care, as they become rather obvious after a few attempts. The first thing you have to ask is, ‘why am I check-raising?’ If you’re doing it for the sake of it then you may as well stop. Poker is a game of planning and it’s absolutely necessary to plan ahead.

It’s done in two main ways:

Either you’re holding what you think is the best hand, and because of this you decide to check-raise for value as a means of getting more money in the pot.

Or…

It can also be used as a bluff, to make experienced opponents think you’re check-raising them instead of just bluffing. Check-raising also confuses your opponents as they don’t exactly know when you’re checking and when you’re check-raising.

Check-Raising for Value

As someone starting off playing poker the majority of time you should check-raise for value.

Say you’re holding a pair of aces and magically you have flopped 3-A-J. If you were to place a big bet straight away people might presume you have either a pair of aces or jacks. Now, that’s not a bad idea because someone might follow you in if they have 8s, or even jacks, or what you would hope – aces. Well, a big bet might keep people in the action, but a check-raise will definitely keep them there.

If you were positioned to bet first, checking would be a good move, and as such initiating the check-raise procedure. Being positioned mid-table is not ideal as someone might be poised to bet before the round reaches you. The same goes for when you’re at the end of the action. So, ultimately, being positioned first or second after the blinds is the best position to check-raise.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about check-raising. This is the end of our initial run of poker guides, but keep this page bookmarked as we’ll be adding more guides are the year goes along. Why not try out your new moves by heading on over to Coral’s poker lobby! Good luck.