Betting on the Turn Part II

Sometimes you will want to bet on the Turn with the intention of checking on the River. This is similar to the strategy of raising for a free showdown, except that instead of raising, you are betting. This strategy requires that you are last to act and you are the aggressor. If you have raised pre-Flop, bet on the Flop and on the Turn as well, you are clearly saying you have a strong hand. If your opponent check-raises on the Turn after all of your aggression, then it is usually clear he has an even stronger hand. But if your opponent has a mediocre hand and/or is passive, then he may simply call your bet on the Turn and check to you on the River. If you had a mediocre hand and he had outs, t would be even better if he folded. This is useful when you are not sure if you have the better hand or not, as you are not giving him any free cards when you are ahead.

If you had decided to check on the Turn, you may still be willing to call a bet on the River since he may be bluffing, and you could win with just high cards. In that case, checking on the Turn with the intention of calling on the River would yield the same result as betting on the Turn with the intention of checking on the River. If you checked on the Turn and called a bet on the River, you would win one bet if you won, and lose one bet if you lost. If you had bet the Turn and checked on the River, then you would win one bet if you won and lost one bet if you lost. However, if you bet on the Turn, and you catch on the River, you now have the option to bet again on the River and win two bets. This can happen too if you checked the Turn and then raised on the River. However, a raise on the River will seem stronger to most opponents, and you may be less likely to get called in that scenario. Also, if you checked the Turn, you would not have received the possible benefit of your opponent folding on the Turn after you bet.

Here is an example. You are in late position and you open raise.

Your hand: AQo

A loose player in the big blind calls. The two of you see the Flop heads-up. Flop: K-7-6 rainbow

Your loose opponent checks and you bet. He calls. Turn: 2

Your loose opponent checks. Even though you do not have a pair, you should consider betting again. You know that he will call with any pair, but if he does not, then you are ahead and you would not want him to get a free card on the River.

The key to this hand is that he may fold hands like T9 and T8 when you bet. With these exact hands, it would be a mistake for your opponent to fold. With T9 or T8, he would have 10 outs, 4 for the inside straight and 6 for a pair. The pot is small (only 4.25 big bets), but he would have enough pot odds to call. From his perspective, if he knew he had 10 outs, then this is the analysis he should be making:

DIPO method with 10 outs

Computation

Result

Good Number

10 x 4.25

42.5

Bad Number

46 -10

36

The pot is offering him enough odds to call. But he does not know he has 10 outs. He may think he only has 4 outs or he may estimate he has 7 outs on average (4 outs for the straight and a 50% chance to have an additional 6 outs). With those assumptions, it would look like a call is a poor play.

DIPO method with 4 outs

Computation

Result

Good Number

7 x 4.25

29.75

Bad Number

46 - 7

39

If you bet your AQo, and he folds an inside straight draw, he is making a mistake. That is a great benefit of your bet because it gives him a chance to make an incorrect decision.

If he does call you on the Turn, you can check on the River. If he was on a draw, he will not call now unless he made the draw or a pair. If he had a pair, he is more likely to call again. If you bet, you are likely to be putting yourself in a situation where you will lose one bet if you have the worst hand and win nothing if you have the best hand.

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