The Check Raise

Bet Type Objective Bet Range
Check raise/Slow Playing Act weak in the hope of inducing action from opponent Check

Lady luck loves a man with a slow hand. The check raise is one of the types of bet that involves slow playing. The check raise is a powerful tool in your arsenal, one that you should use to extract additional chips from your stingy opponent who doesn't like to commit to a given pot. But, you need to be careful when using this type of bet. David Sklansky gives some timeless guidelines:

  1. You must have a strong hand.
  2. You are quite sure that will drive out other players by showing aggression; but, you are confident that you stand good chances of winning an even larger pot if you display passivity.
  3. The free card (or cheaper card) that you are allowing other players to get has a nice probability of giving them second best hands.
  4. That same free card poses little chance of making someone a better hand.

As effective as this move can be, it does present increased risk. Your opponent may catch up with and overtake your hand. You should only make use of this ploy when you have strong hands and in certain situations.

Slow playing works by acting weak in hopes of hiding your strength. With any luck, this will induce a bluff or at least a misinformed bet from your opponent to get him to commit his chips to the pot.

Having a slow hand is most useful against a tight opponent, whereby you give him a free card hoping he might catch up a little. You are encouraging him to bet, and it he does that you can trap him.

check raise

For example your hole cards are:

Qc (6K) Jd (6K)

Flop comes down...

9-s (4K) 8-d (5K) ten hearts

You've flopped a straight! However, a good opponent should spot the straight possibility on the flop and will play cautious.

If you were to make a value bet of half of the pot, chances are the other player may put you the winning cards and fold. However if you check, your opponent may wonder if you are concerned he hit the straight. Your challenger bets hoping you will fold.

You can reveal your strength or call and continue the check raise into the next round of betting.

By making this move you are luring your foe into committing his chips to the pot whereby increasing the size of the pot in a situation where you possess the NUTS.

Now the danger with slow playing is you give others the chance to catch up. You also run the risk of giving him a free card if he fails to bet and checks.

You should reserve this play for only the stronger hands, and never slow play if you think your opposition is on a draw, which would allow him to catch up and beat you.

Slow playing is useful against a tight opponent, where by you give him a free card hoping he might catch up a little thus encouraging him to bet.

Use the check raise in the following situations:

  • The texture of the flop makes your opponent suspicious of the hand you hold, and it is almost certain he would fold if you bet.
  • Up against a Rock who is doesn’t bet much.
  • There are no draws on the board, which could beat your hand.
  • You are playing a Maniac who usually bets if you check and often bluffs.

Exit Check Raise » Texas Holdem Poker

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