Expectation And Hourly Rate The Fundamental Theorem Of Poker The Ante Structure Pot Odds Effective Odds Implied Odds and Reverse Implied Odds The Value of Deception Win the Big Pots Right Away The Free Card The Semi-Bluff Defense Against the Semi-Bluff Raising Check-Raising Slowplaying Loose and Tight Play Position Bluffing Game Theory and Bluffing Inducing and Stopping Bluffs Hands-Up On The End Reading Hands The Psychology of Poker Analysis at the Table Evaluating the Game


Check-raising and poker slowplaying are two ways of playing a strong hand weakly to trap your opponent and win more money from them.

However, they are not identical.

Check-raising is checking your hand with the intention of raising on the same round often an oppoment bets.

Slowplaying, which we discuss in more detail in the next chapter, is playing you hand in a way that gives your opponents no idea of its strength.

It may be checking and then jut calling an opponent who bets, or it may be calling a person who bets ahead of you.

When you slowplay a hand, you are using deception to keep people in for a while in order to make your move in a later round. Clearly, then, a hand you slowplay has to be much stronger than a hand with which you check-raise.

Check-raising can drive opponents out and may even win the pot right there, while slowplaying gives opponents either a free card or a relatively cheap card.


There are some amateur poker players who find something reprehensible about check-raising.

They find it devious and deceitful and consider people who use it to be less than well-bred.

We’ll check-raising is devious and it is deceitful, but being devious and deceitful precisely what one wants to be  in a pocar game, as is implied by the Fundamental Theorem of Poker.

Checking with the intention of raising is one way to do that.

In a sense, check-raising and slowplaying and the opposites of bluffing, in which you play a weak hand strongly.

If check-raising and slowplaying were not permitted, the game of poker would lose just about as much as it would if blffing and semi-bluffing were not permitted.

Indeed the two types of play complement one another, and a good player should be adept at both of them.

The check-raise is a powerful weapon.

 It is simply another tool with which a poker pleyar practices his art. Not allowing check-raising in your home game is something like not allowing, say, the hit and run in a or the option pass in a football game.

Without it poker loses a significant portion of its stradegy, which, apart from winning money, is what make the game fun.

I’m much more willing to congratulate an opponent for trapping me in a check-raise than for drawing out on me on a call he shouldn ’t have made in the first place and if I am angry at anyone, it is at myself for falling into the trap.

Necessary Conditions for Check-Raising

Check-Raising With a Second-Best Hand