Playing the Turn
June 20, 2011 :: Posted by - Poker Tips :: Category - Poker Tips
Tip #13 – Playing the turn in Texas Hold’em
It takes experience to handle all the possible situations that you will encounter at the turn in Texas holdem, and this is something that you will improve while playing. However, if you remember the advice given here it will give you a good start.
As for the flop, to call a bet on the turn card you usually need a decent made hand or a strong draw. Keep playing your strong hand aggressively by betting and raising if you think you are ahead, especially if the river card could hurt you. You want the opponents pay as much as possible for their draws or inferior hands.
Some draws that you called with on the flop because they were profitable, should now be folded to a bet, since the bet you need to call is usually twice as big as on the flop in No Limit Holdem.
It is therefore necessary to reevaluate the odds to see if your draw is profitable. Also, the turn card may make your draw less profitable since it may have improved your opponent’s hand.
For example, if there comes a third card in the same suit, your straight draw is more or less useless, since an opponent could have a made flush, and anyone with a card in the same suit will beat the straight if the fourth suited card comes one the river.
Strategies on the Turn
Weak draws should usually be folded against a bet on the turn. You should almost always fold your marginal hands if someone raises before you on the turn. A raise here usually means that your opponent have at least the highest pair with a good kicker, or probably better. Most players are hesitant to raise on the turn without strong hands, so be careful. Re-raises should only be called with very strong hands.
What is to be considered as a very strong hand of course depends on what possible hands your opponents may have. A two pair is usually good but with four consecutive cards on the board its useless if its not a giant pot that justifies a draw to a full house. Most beginning players call too many raises on the turn, and such mistakes may cause them to lose everything they earn by playing correctly. It’s better to fold if you think that you are beat than to call a lot of raises on the turn and regret it when you lose a big pot.
Of course you could call a raise on the turn from very aggressive opponents than from those who rarely raise. Be careful against tricky players who only check and call on the flop, and raise on the turn. They have probably either been slowplaying a strong hand or hit a draw, this is typically a very strong line.
As a general rule of thumb, when you are playing the turn in Texas holdem:
- Keep playing your made hands aggressively if you think you are ahead and the river card might hurt you. Be careful however if someone raises or re-raises you.
- Always re-evaluate the odds if you are on a draw. Take into account the changed bet size and pot size as well as your opponents possible hands. If the pot odds are greater then the chances of making the best hand you should make the call.
- A raise or check raise on the turn usually indicates a very strong hand. You should usually fold your marginal hands against raises. As always, take into account the possible holdings of your opponents when you evaluate your hand strength.
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