General concepts

Points of Play

Tournament Play

However, if you do check-raise with your four-card six looking at a two-card seven, you should also occasionally check-raise with a four-card eight when you are looking at what appears to be a four-card seven so that once again good players cannot get a line on your play.

Now what about when you have paired up? Since you are going to be playing the way I said you can virtually always check when you pair up and possibly call if he bets.

By playing this way your opponent cannot be sure that you are not slowplaying a big hand. Meanwhile, you may get a free card when you check because he may be suspicious that you are checking into him.

Only once in awhile should you bet your pair into his two-card hand if you are first. What about if he is first? If he has the lower board and comes out betting and you haven’t paired you should usually simply call.

Once in awhile you can raise but only to add some variety to your play; or, if you have strong suspicious that he has paired or your cards are especially live even though they are slightly higher than his.

When he bets and you have paired you should usually fold.  This is not quite the same poker situation, however, as when he bets and you have caught a bad one.

If you have paired but it is hidden, your hand is not  as bad as when you caught a bad one, because at least if you catch another good one of fifth street and he catches a bad one he may throw his hand away, especially if he has paired. This would not be the case if you caught a high card or a pair showing.

Let us now examine the case where you did not start off with a good three-card hand and he has caught a bad one. Now, of course, your hand is probably better than his anyway. You may have a four-card ten and he doesn’t even have that good a hand.

But even if your hand is worse than that, you have the stronger board and you should bet even if you know  he will call you, because if you catch another good one on fifth street and he catches a bad one, the pot is automatically yours.

However, if your hands appear anywhere near equal on Fourth Street, but you really do not a three-card hand, you should just check and hope to get a free card and if you don’t get one, normally throw your hand away.

Some marginal situations might call for you to check and call if he bets, such as if you start with a three-card ten and he calls you with a 7 and now you both catch babies.

You have a marginal poker hands which would prefer to see a free card and which might get one since you do play tricky in this situation. If he does bet, you have a marginal call.

In the situation where he may not have started off with three good cards you will usually be forced to call on Fourth Street when he catches a good one and you catch a bad one.

This would be especially true if your cards are live. However, in most cases where you know that he may not have a three-card hand you should have already reraised him on third street as previously discussed.

Now you have automatically committed yourself to calling on fourth street no matter what happens, and you no longer have to worry about whether, in fact, he did start with three good ones. It makes no difference anymore.

When multiway pot on fourth street you have a situation where if two players have caught good cards and one has caught bad card, both players who have caught good cards have the best of it even if one hand is slightly better than the other.

This is so since each is going to win the pot more than 33 percent of the time. Thus, if the player who catches the bad card is so stubborn as to stay in, you should put him in the middle if possible with your raises even if you have the second best hand.

In other words, if one player catches a king and you catch a 7 and the third player catches a 6 you should never stop raising until the legal limit has been reached because you are getting 2-to-1 odds on each raise and you are not a 2-to-1 underdog.

Of course, it is usually better if you can get the player who has caught a bad one to fold immediately, thus relinquishing the amount of money he has in the pot. The best way to do this is to try to play the hand in such a way that he will have to call a double bet cold.

Thus, if you are first to bet and the high card goes next, you should usually check after which the high card will check and the other good hand will bet. Now you should raise and force the high card to call a double bet cold.

However, if the man to your left is the other good hand you should usually bet if you know the other player to be the type of player who will raise. If the other two-card hand is a meek player it is probably better to check to him, have him bet and now raise after the high card has called.

The worst thing that could happen would be for the high card to get in for a single bet. Of course, if you were the player who has caught the bad one on fourth poker street, do not let yourself get caught in the middle even if there has been a double bet on third street.

It is not worth getting caught in the middle of a  bunch of raises on fourth street, since you are too much of an underdog. The only time you can play on fourth street is if one low hand has bet and the other low hand has called and you know that there will be no raises behind you.

Even here is it may not be correct to call, even if it would be correct to call against either one of the two hands individually. This is because of a strange mathematical paradox that occurs multiway pots in poker.  this paradox will be explored further in the next chapter on fifth street.


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