When do you raise when playing poker online or offline? What a question – one many of us have at one point found ourselves asking. Raising is used in many ways, including bluffing, when you know you have the winning hand, and to gather information from your opponents. Here are 5 good reasons to raise in a competitive game of poker.
Best Hand – If you are confident you have the best hand, it’s a given, raise to start online casino. If you throw in some smaller raises (or even a raise that looks like a bluff) you can tempt others to call or repeat your action.
Sense Weakness/Bluff – Poker is a very tricky game, and some times it’s not necessarily about having the best hand, but more making other players think that you are strong. Should you believe your opponent to be holding a weak hand, raising may protect your hand, because it implies to the opponent they are out matched. This method will only work against certain types of players, so be sure to watch and take note of how players at your table act when they are re-raised. Bluffing should be done very rarely, and only if you have a strong table image.
Semi-Bluff – Similar to sensing weakness, if you have determined other players to be very predictable and unlikely to call a raise, you can try to bluff at a pot with a big raise if you hold cards that have lots of outs. For example, if you are on a flush draw, or open-ended straight draw, a raise might get the player with the best hand to fold. Even if they do call the raise, you will still have a chance for your hand to improve on the turn or the river.
For Information – In later position, raising to gather information is a very good play. By raising, you will be able to ascertain where the other player’s hands are. Obviously more information is revealed when one player folds, the next calls, and the last raises. It is also possible that all the other players at a table will fold, and the ante goes to you. This motivation for a raise is called a probing bet. This form of probe is especially effective if you hold a semi-decent hand.
To Isolate – If there are several known-aggressive players that have raised and re-raised a pot pre-flop, throwing in a further re-raise is a good way to isolate one of the players or take down the pot completely with a marginal hand. By throwing in a re-raise against these types of players they will have to assume that you are holding a monster hand and will proceed with caution, should they decide to call. This is a risky play, and should only be done when you have thoroughly studied the other players at your table.
These are some basic guidelines for when to raise. With all of these the amount you raise, plus your position are the most important factors as your goal is to either extract the most chips from your opponent or get them out of the hand completely. So, next time you are at the casino, or playing on your favorite online poker site, give one of these methods a try to take down some bigger pots.