Situation 61

The blinds are $10-$25. You are under the gun with:

You raised to $100 under the gun before the flop. To your left, Tight Tom called. Novice Noreen called on the button and Action Arnold called from the big casino blind. With four of you, the size of the pot was $410 before the flop.

The flop comes:

Action Arnold bets $200 from the big blind. Now it is your turn to act next.

What will be your play?

Your hand can be raised before the flop. You don't want Tom to enter the pot because you know that he has a hand good enough to justify calling your pre-flop raise. It was good that he didn't re-raise, which means that he didn't have the big pair. Calling doesn't mean that the player can't have the big pair.

There are many good players who are capable of making a deceptive play where they flat-call a raise with a big pair in the expectation of attracting other players into the pot. The flop doesn't seem to be good for you even though you have two over poker cards.

However, you can get into the trouble when an ace comes on the turn and someone has A-J.


You should fold. You missed the flop. When Arnold bets in front of you, he might bust you out if you call. Even if he doesn't have you beaten Tom or Noreen might does.

You should save the chips for another hand. It is a very risky hand for you to play.

Part Ten
Bluffing Practice Hands
Situation 62

The blinds are $25-$50. Everyone has $1000 in poker chips. You are in the first position with:

You raise three times the size of the big blind. Passive Peter and Loose Levin call the raise and the blind folds.

The flop comes:

What will be your play?

•  You can check and call if somebody bets.

•  You can check and fold if someone bets you just have a draw and you can't even beat a pair.

•  You can make a bet equal to the pot size.


This flop is somewhat good and mostly bad at times. You have a monster draw. It is possible that a flop containing two cards that are ten or higher could have improved somebody's hand, but you think this is a hand in which you gamble with. You think that Peter will call if he makes to pair, but is likely to fold anything less than that. If he has a flush or open-end straight draw, Peter may call on the flop and fold on the fourth street if he doesn't improve.

Levin likes to play middle connecting cards and would have re-raised with a big pair or even A-Q.


The best play is the third option that is to bet only if you know the type of cards that Levin and Peter play. You are most likely going to play this hand to the river and you don't mind winning it with a bet on the flop.

Situation 63

The blinds are $25-$50. You are in the initial stage of the no-limit tournament. Passive Peter and Tight Tom both calls for $50. You are on the button with:

You limp before the flop. In the small poker blind, Novice Noreen calls the extra blind $25 and in the big blind Reckless Ricky checks.

The flop comes:

You have an open-straight draw and two over cards. Everyone checks to you.

What will be your play?

•  You can check.

•  You can bet about $200.


If either Tom or Ricky has a jack in their hand, they would have certainly bet. Passive Peter and Noreen could have anything, but they don't have a jack otherwise they would have bet you.


You should bet about $200 so as to try to pick up the pot. If you get called you can still improve to a nut straight or pair up and probably make the best hand. You are betting without a made hand, but there is a possibility to improve the best poker hand in case you get called. If you bet, everybody will fold and you can win the pot easily. However, there is a possibility that an ace or a nine may not fall on the turn or the river, in that case you might lose much of your money. So always be careful

Steal Bluff
Situation 64

You are having $25000 in chips. The other players at your table have short and medium stacks. The blinds are $400-$800 and your rivals are playing tight, in the expectation that they can make it into the money. One of the medium stacks is in the big blind and a short stack is in the small blind.

You are sitting in front of the button. Everyone has passed to you. You are having:

What will be your play?

•  You can call the $800 big blind.

•  You can fold.

•  You can raise to about $3000.


You have a six-high hand. You also know that the big blind will not call a large raise unless he has a strong hand. The short stack in the small blind is to fold in order to give him another entire round to find a good hand to put his money in with. Even if he has a strong hand to call you, you may get lucky and out-flop him.


There is not much risk with the short-stack even if he calls your raise and wins the pot. Therefore you can try to steal the pot.

Situation 65

The blinds are $200-$400. You are in the middle stage of the casino tournament with a $50 ante. You have below average stack of about $2900 in chips. Your image at the table is that of tight player. Before the cards are dealt there is $1100 in the pot. You are two seats away from the button. Everyone has folded. You have:

A pair of fives is weak hand to both over cards and a bigger pair.

What will be your play with pocket fives?

•  You can fold.

•  You can call the minimum bet excepting to hit a set on the flop.

•  You can make a standard raise of three or four times the size of the big blind.

•  You can move all-in.


With the tight image, it is very easier for you to try to steal the blinds and antes without a strong hand. You have a small pair in a late position, a hand which can be good but which can easily get beaten if you don't flop a five. If you make a standard raise about half of the chips would be placed to the pot and if somebody else raises behind you, you would likely call.


The preferred play is to move all-in. You still have enough chips to make a sizeable raise. Nobody can try to steal the poker pot from you after the flop if all your chips are already in the pot.

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