Check Raising on the button

You’re probably a little confused by the title of the last Pro Tip of 2004. There are certain situations that are better exploited on line than in live play. We explained in a previous Pro Tip that very often you can make a huge oversized raise pre-flop and players will call you with hands that you would never get the action from in a live card room such as pocket tens or K,Q suited. The following Pro Tip will work in certain situations but works better in the online environment as the minimum bet is a single click.

Let’s look at a particular example. Blinds are $5/ $10 and it’s NLH. You’re on the button or in late position, a mid position player makes a standard raise and you call with Ah,Qh, both blinds call. The flop brings 10h, Jh, 5c and the action checks to you. We have twelve big blinds in the pot ($120) and you have $1000 left in front of you. What is the correct play? Well you could bet and if you get raised commit your chips but if you get raised then all your chips are definitely going in. You have 9 flushing cards and three middle pins so that’s not such a bad thing but can you do better? Well you could check and take the free card but if you miss and an opponent bets the pot you now only have one card to come and it could even be raised behind (not so bad as you have a huge draw), but could you do better?…maybe…

How about taking as much time as you can and then betting $10, yes the minimum! $10 into $120 sounds very strange and something you would rarely see live. You could have nearly timed out and hit the bet $10 button, you could be inexperienced but what you are actually doing is creating an extra round of betting. It’s almost as if you checked and we go around once more before the turn card. Now if someone bets you get to be the raiser instead of your opponent and you now get a real chance to win a decent pot uncontested.

This play can also achieve something else. If you only get called your opponents are much more likely to check the turn and you can take the free card if you want to.

Mind you, having said all that if you can get all your chips in with a middle pin nut flush draw you’re not doing too much wrong.