MCU poker tip: Middle position on final betting round

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On the final betting round in a three-way pot, you should seldom raise from the middle position with a strong hand that doesn’t have an extreme advantage. Often, you need an almost unbeatable hand to justify that raise.

That’s because there’s more to be gained by just calling and hoping for an overcall. If you raise and are beat, it will likely cost you more money. And if you have the probable winning hand with only a slight edge, the risk of the raise doesn’t compute. With any marginally strong hand in the middle position, a call, rather than a raise, should be almost automatic. So, usually call or fold. Don’t raise.

Save your raises for an occasional bluff and for weaker hands when you think you may have the bettor beat and want to ensure that the last player to act folds. Otherwise just call with your stronger hands and fold with your weaker ones. — MC

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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