Check raising turn

You can sometimes check raise the turn with overpairs to gain max value from field callerOne of the things that really s...

Posted Feb 02, 2015

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Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

You can sometimes check raise the turn with overpairs to gain max value from field caller

One of the things that really separates the good from the truly great players in no limit holdem is the ability to maximize value. If you hand read well you may sometimes put in huge bets for value with hands as weak as second pair and fold hands as strong as the second nuts. Sometimes in pots that are small after the flop we have to do certain things that may be out of the box to build a pot up and maximize our value. One of the best examples of this is check raising out of the blinds on the flop or on the turn with a big hand like a set. Obviously you do not want your opponents to fold out weaker hands but sometimes you have to make a big raise to get more money in the pot.

An often overlooked situation where you can use this type of line to increase the pot size is after being the preflop raiser in a single raised pot. Especially if you are headsup the pot really is not all that big and if you are trying to get max value you need to maneuver the turn in a different way than you may be accustomed to specifically when out of position. Let us take at a look at a hand I played last week in the Commerce Casino’s $5-10 game. My image was generally pretty good and with a $2000 stack I opened to $35 with K K from UTG. The cutoff, a recreational player that liked to make moves and was rich, called. The board came out Q 7 4 and I decided to make a $50 continuation bet. This player and I have played for years and we have history and the good thing about this particular spot was that he never believes that I ever have anything. He quickly called and we saw a 2 turn. Now in this case this particular opponent had an extremely wide calling range on the flop due to our history. He could have had anything from air to top pair of queens. I also thought that he was the type to bet the turn if he was “floating” or bet to protect with any pair putting me on a hand like ace high. So when that disconnected deuce appeared I thought it was a perfect opportunity to check raise and build a pot.

Now obviously I am mostly targeting a queen, as it will be difficult for him to call with anything worse. But if he is not going to bluff the river all of that much and check behind with his medium strength hands I really wanted to go for gold. I thought that there was absolutely no way that he would ever bet then fold top pair so when he did bet $90 after I checked to him I decided to raise him to $230, which he quickly called. The river brought out another deuce which was a great card for me and I value bet $400. He thought for a few seconds and called and my KKs were good.

This technique is especially effective when you hold a big ace like AK and an ace flops. In that situation when someone calls your flop continuation bet, especially if there is more than one player in the pot post flop, they are much more likely to have top pair then in the previous Q74 example where my opponent could have had a hand as weak as pocket threes.

You also do not have to have an overpair to make this play but any hand that you feel can be best for value. Like I have made this play on a similar Q74 type of board with a hand as weak as KQ. It is much better though, to have an overpair, because combinations wise it is much more lucky that your opponent will have top pair to pay you off.

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