Fifth Street

Question: Should you bet on the end?

Answer: The third spade came, so if he was drawing to his flush, he just hit it. However, he hasn't been betting as though he had a drawing hand. (He led out after the flop, and again on fourth street, when he could have checked and gotten free cards.) If you have a feeling that he's been bluffing, you should check to induce one last bluff. (If he's been bluffing, that will be his last chance to win the pot.) If you don't think he's been bluffing, you should check and make your final decision after he bets. In either case, a check is probably the correct action.

This is a situation which allows top players to make a lot of money that lesser players can't make. All the top players have a good feel for these situations. That feel typically takes many years of practice to develop, although a few whiz kids arrive on the scene with their instincts fully matured.9

Action: You check, and he bets $ 190. You call. He shows and you take the pot with your pair of jacks.

Your Rope-a-Dope strategy worked perfectly, inducing a final bluff on the end. Your checks convinced him you had made a check-raise bluff, and he kept trying to steal the pot from you. But his stealing bets were so small that you could never seriously consider folding.

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