Special poker moves and the strategy behind them
Bet/raise for value
Bet, raise or check/raise for protection
You can do that by betting, but that may not be enough. If you were first to act, you can check and hope that a late player bets, so that you can raise and thus confront all the players between you and the bettor with having to call two bets cold, which will probably make it to expensive for them because now they don’t get good pot odds to call.
If an early player bets and you raise, the same applies. Only here, the original bettor is likely to call the raise, and he is right to do that. But now you are only playing against one player, which means that you are less likely to be outdrawn by this one player than by multiple players. You have, again, eliminated potential opposition and improved your chances to win the pot.
This concept is very important. So let’s give a simple example:
You are in early position holding Kh Th and call pre-flop. 3 other players call too, the dealer raises, and you and the three others call that raise. The flop is T52 rainbow, giving you top pair with excellent kicker. The only cards you have to worry about are the high pocket pairs and AT. Now you check, expecting that all players will check to the dealer, who will bet again. In turn, you can raise and now the three players between you and the dealer will fold because they have to call two bets cold. Even the dealer might fold because his original bet may have been intended to make everybody fold, but in any case you got him heads-up now and your chances to win this pot have improved significantly.
Supposed the move goes wrong and everybody calls – well then if no overcards come, you may win the pot after all, and you have successfully filled it.
Raising for a free card or free showdown
You hold Ad Jd on the button. Flop is Qs, 7d, 2d. A player in early position bets, and you call. You now have a flush draw to the nuts. The early position player bets. With this hand, you will want to see the river anyway. You raise, and the early player calls. The turn is 5s. The early player will now very often check to you because of your raise. Now you can decide to take a free look at the river card. Had you just called, the other guy would have bet again on the river, so in both cases you have invested two bets. Your advantage is, that if the turn card is your fifth flush card you have successfully filled the pot. In this case, of course, you do not take a free card but bet out again. Sometimes your raise on the flop wins you the pot right away when the other player folds. This move can be used after the flop and after the turn.
Aggressive players may see through your intentions and bet into you even at the turn although you raised the flop, so this tactical move can backfire.