Thursday, April 27, 2006


Why wait till the turn to raise? Why not just pop it on the flop?

More and more, I'm thinking that putting in a raise on the flop in limit hold 'em is correct much more often than on the turn.

The conventional wisdom is that the primary reason to wait until the turn for a raise is if you have a strong hand that needs to be protected in a large pot. And I agree with that.

The problem is that sometimes the turn will bring a scare card, and sometimes you'll lose value by scaring out too many customers with a raise on the turn, whereas a raise on the flop would have committed them to the pot.

More often, I see raises on the turn in heads-up battles. The action goes like this:

I'm in the small blind and raise with A9o, the big blind calls. Flop comes rags, I bet, he calls. Turn brings a rag, I bet, he raises, I fold. Cost to me: 2.5 BB.

But if my opponent had raised on the flop and I had called, then folded the turn, the cost to me would have been 2 BB.

I don't know how to really reconcile the difference in cost in heads-up battles. The only thing I can figure is that a raise on the flop is ideal if your opponent has some sort of hand, because that often commits them to a showdown. A raise on the turn is better as a bluff against a player capable of folding who may have nothing, or when you suspect he might call you down anyway.

Eh. It's hard to make generalities about this kind of thing. It's all so situational. I should probably try to raise on the turn more often as a bluff, especially in heads-up situations.


Easycure said...

If I played much limit, I'd concur. What the hell is limit?

Anyhoo, check out my website. You have a plate now. Well deserved.

cc said...

Of course, it depends and mix it up. I've started betting hands much more aggressively, raising re-raises more often on the flop and turn, especially at higher limit play (where probing for fraidy-scared play by better players is more common and +EV). Is raising the flop, in general, +EV? On rag boards, it's probably much better to do that then turn raising. Check/raising flops can sometimes take things down or at least let you know what's up. I think turn raising is less +EV for me, with the three-bet/folds or chases on my part eating a good chunk of value from pots dragged. But let me know how it's working and further thoughts.

deliverator said...

Limit is what you play when you finally have given up on having a full head of hair. Because, well, it was suited.......