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Call when you are drawing to the best hand.

As always, a major consideration in verifying whether to stay with a draw would be whether the necessary pot odds would be present. You would have to give up some of your lesser draws, especially if the pot were to be small. Sometimes your draw would present a close decision between calling and folding. If this were to be the case, you should reflect on whether the pot could still be raised behind you.

When the bet were to come from your right, and many poker players were yet to act, you would have to tend to fold marginal poker hands, as you couldn’t be certain of how much it would end up costing you to stay in the pot. Alternatively, if you were the last to act (that is, the bet were to come from your left), it would be correct to call more loosely, since you wouldn’t fear a raise.

Sometimes you could raise on the turn as a semibluff when you were holding a good draw. Nonetheless, as in betting a draw, this would often be an expensive proposition. In fact, this play would be dodgier, as one of your poker opponents would have already shown interest in the hand by betting.

Raising with a draw on the turn would be most likely to work when you would have few opponents and when the bettor were to be a poker player you know to be capable of laying down a decent hand. You shouldn’t make this play against chronic calling stations*; you would be handing them money if you would.

For the most part, you should avoid raising as a bluff in low-limit hold’em poker games. Too many poker players would call you down, believing they were beat but nevertheless incapable of releasing their hands.

*Calling station: A poker player who would call on the least pretext, often with hands that would rarely win against legitimate bets. A calling station would be someone who would feel he would just have to ‘keep you honest.’

Play aggressively on the Turn.

Here are examples of poker hands that would classically be played aggressively on the turn.

  • Top pair with a good kicker would likely be the best hand. That would be especially true if nobody else were to have displayed much strength. Again, you would have to bet this hand for two reasons: to protect it, and for its value.
  • Two pair, a set, or trips would have to be played very aggressively. Hands such as sets and two pair would often be difficult for your poker rivals to identify, so they could raise you with hands like top pair or an overpair. This would allow you to win some big pots with your hand, provided you were to play it aggressively. Trips (composed of a pair on the board plus one in your hand) would be typically an easier hand for your opponents to read, so you should play them with slightly more caution if you were to bet and get raised or re-raised. If you were to raise when there would be a pair on the board, and get re-raised, you would likely be up against a full house.
  • A made straight or flush. The only real danger here (provided that the board weren’t paired) would be that you could run into a higher straight or bigger flush. For instance, you could bet or raise with seven and eight when the poker board were to show a nine, a ten, and a jack, but if you were to get re-raised you would have to slow down. It would be quite possible that you were up against a king and queen. A similar situation involving a flush would be when you were holding a queen-high flush and were to raise the bettor. Should he re-raise you, you would be reduced to calling him down. You must be winning to bet or raise once with any two-card straight or flush (that is, where you have both cards needed to make the hand in the hole; the situation would be different with four to a straight or flush on the board), but to re-raise it would be best to be holding the nuts.
  • You were holding an overpair to the board. Most of the time this would be the best poker hand, and you would have to play it as such. That said, if there were to be a lot of betting and raising, you could well be trailing. It would be vital to examine the texture of the board to help conclude how strong your hand would be. A few examples follow, with comments:


Your Hand   Board

Number of Opponents: 4

Comments on Example 1:  You would have the best poker hand if you were betting and they were to be calling. Yet, if there were to be a bet and a raise to you, you would probably be up against either a made straight or a set. You should fold, unless the raiser was to be a maniac who could make this play with any pair or draw.


Your Hand   Board

Number of Opponents: 4

Comments on Example 2:  Even with a bet and a raise to you, it would be very possible that your two aces would still be the best hand. The raiser could well be holding a king. The best play would probably be to re-raise, in hopes of getting rid of the other poker players. If you were to get called only, you would likely be holding the best hand.


Your Hand   Board

Comments on Example 3:  Your hand wouldn’t be worth a dollar if there wouldn’t be any considerable action. If a sound poker player were to bet, you would have to fold your aces here.

Tip 31: Check when you have a draw to the best hand.<< Previous    Next >> Tip 34: Good draw on the turn.



How to Play Hold’em

Three Universal Hold’em Concepts
Tip: 1-3

Playing Before the Flop
Tip: 4-16

Playing on the Flop
Tip: 17-27

Playing on the Turn
Tip: 28-37

Playing on the River
Tip: 38-45

More Hold’em Concepts You Should Know
Tip: 46-52

Poker Odds Chart

Poker Dictionary



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