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CHECK-RAISE

Check Raise - Raising another player’s bet after initially checking.

Check raising is an action used when you are out of position. It is a really simple yet effective play and if used correctly it can be a powerful weapon for two completely different scenarios.

FLOP

CHECK-RAISING AS A BLUFF

The idea of check raising as a bluff is to end the hand without going to showdown and to trap some extra dead money in the pot. It is a good play to use against loose players with a wide range of hands as a lot of the time they will not be able to continue against the strength of a check raise. There are a couple of good situations where you might want to check raise as a bluff. The first is against loose player on a dry flop such as K-8-2 all different suits. The reason we might want to check raise here is because there are no draws so it is even less likely our opponent has a hand that he can continue with. If there were draws on the flop then our opponent could continue with a draw as well as a one pair hand whereas in our example our opponent will likely only continue with top or second pair. If our loose opponent has a wide range then a top pair hand is unlikely, therefore, we should let this player continuation bet by checking and then make something like a 3x raise of his bet size. If we are called then we should seriously consider shutting down and check fold to any future bets.

Beware, bluffing in this way is very player dependant. Experienced players are likely to know you are bluffing here so may well re-bluff. Always strongly consider your opponent when bluffing.

Another situation where we can check raise as a bluff is if we have a strong draw on the flop. This is more commonly known as a semi bluff. An example flop would be 975 with two spades. We could comfortably check raise this flop holding two spades if one spade is a high card or with other hands such as J-10 or 10-8 or pair + draw hands such as A-7 with the ace being a spade. We almost always have good equity here when behind that check raising should be profitable when you include the money we win when our opponent folds on the flop. If called then we need to re-evaluate our hand on the turn. If we make our draw then great, bet away! If not then hoping to see a free river would be your best idea.


CHECK-RAISING FOR VALUE

Check raising for value usually only consist of strong flopped hands where your opponent may also have a bit of something. The most common flop to check raise for value is when you flop a set, especially if the flop is two tone as you need to protect your hand from possible flush/straight draws. If the flop is dry then check raising wouldn’t be a great idea because as we said above, the dryer the flop the less likely it is your opponent has hit so you will get a fold a lot of the time, which is something we don’t want!

Another reason to check raise for value is if you flop two pair. Mainly for the above reasons but other reasons could be against a maniac or a player on tilt as they will likely stack off very light, probably with any sort of one pair hand or a draw.


Cliffs

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