Fast 2014-09-16: Poker’s hat trick

“Added Fast” purpose: Allow Mike Caro to post spontaneous thoughts, tips, and information.

  • Includes Mike’s notes to himself.
  • Titles begin with “Fast,” plus date.
  • If expanded later, link is at bottom.

Also see:  → Why a Poker1 “Fast” category?  |  → All Poker1 “Fast” entries

I haven’t heard the term “hat trick” applied to poker since I played regularly in a hold ’em game at Hollywood Park Casino, near Los Angeles, in the late 1990s.

But I think it was amusing and appropriate terminology and, so, I’ll share it’s meaning with you now.

Three times

In hockey, a hat trick means that a player scored three goals in the same game. In our poker game, it meant that a player successfully sandbagged (checked and then raised) the same opponent three times in the same hand.

This was before the no-limit craze and the size of bets was predetermined by rule. This game was usually played for a $100 big blind, meaning bets and raises were by $100 increments on the first two betting rounds and $200 thereafter. Occasionally the limits were larger and often it was a $75/$150 game. Fine.

First the flop

So, here comes the flop. You have a superior hand and you check. Opponent bets and you raise and are called. Now the turn (fourth board card). Again you check. Opponent thinks, wow, he was trying to keep me from betting this round by raising at the lower limit last time. I’m not falling for that, because I really like my hand. So, the opponent bets at the now-double limit. You raise once again and are called.

Okay, now comes the final river card. Do you dare check again? Why not? Opponent thinks, okay, now he surely must not have that strong a hand. He’s gone to the well twice already with that check-raise nonsense and I wasn’t intimidated. I’m still in the pot. I probably had the best hand all along, so I’m betting it. And so, you raise one final time, get called and snare the pot. It’s poker’s hat trick!

— MC | Follow-up link: → None

Also see:  → Why a Poker1 “Fast” category?  |  → All Poker1 “Fast” entries

Published by

Mike Caro

Visit Mike on   → Twitter   ♠ OR ♠    → FaceBook

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's make sure it's really you and not a bot. Please type digits (without spaces) that best match what you see. (Example: 71353)