MCU poker tip: Sometimes better to bet than check

One game where it’s regularly better to bet than check on early betting rounds is seven-card stud. If you have no pair, you might want to represent one by betting. Usually, this is partially a bluff, because you want to get your opponent out and take the pot early, and partially speculative in the event you stumble into a straight or a flush.The player calling may have a small pair or no pair at all, hoping to make something. Neither one of you has much to brag about

Now if you make a pair on your board, another bet will often win the pot for you immediately. Even an opponent with a pair (especially if it’s smaller than yours) may give up without a fight, fearing you had a big pair in the hole or just made three of a kind. When you’ve been the aggressor and improve, it’s hard for a previously reluctant caller to call again. This means you can often win pots without a struggle by betting “prematurely” that you might have lost in a showdown or folded to your opponent’s bet had you checked on earlier rounds.

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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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