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1-minute audio:
Acting between opponents

TYPE  Poker  |  RUNNING TIME (minutes:seconds)  1:57 / Core 1:43

Mike Caro transcript…

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Audio title: Acting between opponents

[Begin standard intro]

This is Mike Caro beaming
directly to you from

[End standard intro]

↓     ↓     ↓

Huge money is lost on the final betting round by poker players who act between opponents. The mistake they make is that they raise too frequently with strong, but not invincible, hands. Calling is usually correct.

Imagine it. You hold a fairly strong poker hand with Joe to act first and Jane to act after you.

Now imagine that Joe bets. Your hand is probably stronger than Joe’s. And your instinct is to take command of the game by raising. But wait!

Although your marginal advantage would justify a raise heads-up against Joe, there’s still Jane waiting.

The likelihood that she may occasionally overcall with a weaker hand if you don’t raise affords more profit than the uncertain amount you might gain if Joe calls. Remember, Joe might call and win, so you’d be losing extra money by raising. And Jane might overcall and provide extra profit if you just call. And Joe might be bluffing, in which case you don’t want to chase Jane away with a raise, because you won’t make any more money from Joe.

Weigh everything and you’ll average a lot more by just calling. You often need an almost unbeatable hand to raise.

So, with a moderately strong hand, don’t raise in the middle on the last betting round. Just call. The decision isn’t even close.

This is the Mad Genius of Poker, Mike Caro, and that’s my secret today.

Bonus notes

Some things that weigh in favor of raising are that Jane might call anyway with a weaker hand than yours, Joe might reraise as a bluff that you could call, and you might chase Jane out of the pot with her possible superior hand, then still beat Joe. There are other considerations, too. But when you weight them all, it’s usually better to just call for the reasons I explained in the audio. — 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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