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How to play better on the turn

Raising on the turn is the best place to raise from in most limit circumstances for several reasons:

1) It’s the big bet and will cost twice as much as a raise on the flop
2) Chasers are really losing pot odds on a 2-bet on the turn
3) It takes control of the hand of the last card, the river
4) It can take the hand down right there

I’m going to detail a hand I played last night in $1/$2 limits hold em last night on 888poker. I called a raise from the cutoff (1 from the button) with 6[spades]6[clubs] and the flop came down 10-8-4. The original bettor bet, I called, as did the big blind. The turn paired the board 4s and the original bettor bet again. My read on him was high cards, but the read really isn’t that important. I know that I’m going to call another bet on the river and see if my sixes are good (unless maybe an ace falls), so why not put that bet in now? There are a lot of reasons for putting that bet in now, and I lot correspond with what I said earlier.

1) If you’re re-raised you can lay the hand down and be all but certain you’re well behind.
2) If they call and you miss you can check-check the flop and see if you’re ahead with the same amount of money, but…
– They might fold right there on the turn and give you the hand
OR
– You could hit a miracle card, say a 6, on the river and get in another bet.

In my case when the original bettor bet I raised on the turn and he folded. I didn’t allow him to see another card where he could have hit a higher pair and taken the hand, and if he had called he was still drawing, and I could check it with no extra cost than what I would have paid for.

You don’t always have to think you have the best hand to raise on the turn. I like to make this play the same way when I have the nut flush draw, and especially if I also have a straight draw and think a pair might do it. I can either win the hand right there with the worst hand, improve to hit one of my outs and get another bet out of my opponent, or miss and have the opportunity to bluff or just let go of the hand.

The only time I really like to raise right on the flop is with top pair, and I like to raise there to get more people out of the hand behind me, but next time you start getting into the call-down mode with some hands, throw a raise in there at the turn and see what happens, the results might surprise you.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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