Five Bets to Improve Poker Strategy
Poker is all about betting, so if you want to improve your online poker strategy, the first place to look is with your bets. Do you have the full arsenal of moves in your poker set? Here are five bets that you can use to keep your opponents on their heels.
1. The Squeeze
Any list of online poker tips has to include this powerful bet. If someone opens in early position and another player calls, you have the opportunity to squeeze when the action comes to you. Putting in a raise here will be more effective than usual; the first player will be more likely to fold, since he’s worried about what the second player will do, and the second player is more likely to fold, since he only called to begin with.
2. The Cold 4-Bet
This is a similar play to the squeeze, except the second player is now raising instead of calling. The cold 4-bet will put even more pressure on the original raiser and generate more folds than the squeeze. The second player will have a stronger range, though, so use this move when you think he might be 3-betting too often. This will usually be when the original raiser is a loose player, and/or opening from later position.
3. The Check-Raise
Nothing unsettles your opponents more than a timely check-raise. When you check, that’s often a sign of weakness, and other players might bet too often when you do. You can take advantage by raising with more of your “value” hands, and more often as a bluff. When bluffing on the flop, consider using weaker draws like gutshots; stronger draws may be better as check-calls.
4. The Donk
Not every poker guide will recommend this play, but if you want to check-raise effectively, you should also sprinkle in a few lead bets when you’re out of position. This is especially useful when you call from the big blind and the board comes out with nothing but low cards – cards that probably don’t help your opponent. Again, if you’re bluffing, weaker draws are recommended when you donk the flop.
5. The Turn Overbet
If you bet the flop, and your opponent calls, you’re probably in good shape when a “brick” is dealt on the turn. A brick is a card that isn’t likely to help the other player, like a Deuce of Spades on a King-Nine-Seven flop with no Spades in there. This might be a good spot to bet more than the size of the pot, getting your opponent to either fold or pay too high a price to see the river. Use this overbet when the flop is “wet” and your opponent is more likely to be drawing – then slam the door shut on their plans.