The turn bet

poker babe Shana Hiatt In no limit hold'em poker, the turn is often the time when the most difficult decisions arise. Should you bet the turn or not?

Pre flop action follows for the most part a precise pattern for each player depending on his style, and most experienced players have little hesitation.

By the flop, actions are also often standardized. For example a player knows on which board he will make a continuation bet or not. Or a player knows the maximum bet size he will call if the pot is multi-way, etc.

The turn is harder because the pot is bigger and betting commits a larger share of your stack. And it is more complex to assess what hands you could be facing.

When to Bet at the Turn in Texas Holdem

Let's say for example that you follow a raise from the big blind in middle position with 76 of clubs, the flop comes Q75 with one club and two diamonds.

Your opponent makes a big bet, but you are not sure that you are beat. The seven, six and the backdoor flush draw have outs that incite you to the call. The 8 of spades comes at the turn, giving you a set. With 1,000 in the pot, your stack of 3,000 is covered by your opponent. What do you do? Do you put the rest of your chips in the pot?

This type of hand often causes errors. Many players can pay at the flop, but with such a scary turn, betting telegraphs that the turn has improved your hand, i.e. you have a trip of better. The correct play depends on the other player.

Betting at the turn depends on your opponent

If your opponent is very aggressive and loose enough to overestimate his hand, it is correct to check. He may then overstate a hand like KQ or even JJ. His aggression proves he is ready to bet with his drawing hand, then we give him the opportunity to check-raise all-in at the river.

However, you'll find that most of your adversaries use a standard & prudent approach. Such players will make a standard continuation bet on a lot of flops, but avoid continuation-bet on the turn. They know that the turn took away the opportunity to bet as the board is very dangerous. But a check gives them a free card.

Betting big on the turn is also a possibility. A large bet can put you on a weak hand. Do not make the mistake to bet half the pot, because your opponent will put you on a big hand and assume that you are value betting. Now let's think about the range of hands your opponent might have to see if making a pot-size bet is correct.

If he has AA, KK, AQ or KQ, a big bet at the turn may seem like you are using the second eight as a scary card, and the other player can believe that he is in good shape. If he check-raises all in, perfecto.

If he has a hand like JJ, TT or 99, he will have no trouble folding. But some opponents may put you on a bluff, and then make an all in move to put you to the test. You will then have a huge pot and your goal will be achieved.

If he has a straight or flush draw, then it is a mistake to check and to give him a free card. It is thus optimal to bet making him either fold or call with incorrect odds.

If you are facing a good opponent who is able to trace all the possibilities, you can attempt a more complex strategy when you think he is on a flush draw. Check at the turn and make a big raise at the river if the flush hits and he bets. A thinking player will deduct that you had flopped a set and hence fold, but beware that many opponents will think that they are already too involved to fold.

Overall it depends on your opponent, and how many level of thinking he can handle. This shows how crucial it is to always observe and study your opponents.

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