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Check raising on the flop is a pretty strong play in any game of poker, either live or online. To be able to check raise on the flop you will most always be in early position – at least relative to the opponent you believe will fire a bet after you make your initial check. You also have to believe that at least one of the players behind you in the action is going to bet, otherwise you will be missing a betting opportunity and giving away a free card.
If you are going to check raise on the flop then you need to think about how the action went pre-flop. A good situation for this kind of a play is when you are in the small blind or the big blind or just limped in under the gun. If everyone else just limped in behind you then on the flop your check might just get checked all the way around the table.
However, if pre-flop you are in one of the blinds or have limped under the gun and there is a raise and maybe even a 3-bet, and you are holding a good hand, then you are in a good position to make a check raise on the flop. There will always be a multitude of situations where you’re going to have to analyze the players around you and the moves and betting styles each and everyone has; however, it will only serve you for the better and to ensure you’re a long-term winner overall.
Making a Decision on the Flop or the Turn
A decision that you will have to make is whether you want to go for the check raise on the flop or on the turn. If your hand hit the flop really hard and you want to encourage the action and build as big a pot as possible then you may want to check call the flop so that you can check raise on the turn. This way you will have picked up a couple of extra bets and building up the pot in the process.
The reason I didn’t include the river as a possible check raising situation is because after you have check/called on the flop, the opposing player may decide to check and go for a showdown on the river which is probably not what you want. You may win the pot of course, but you will lose added value by just leading out on the river that would give them proper pot odds to call you down.
A Good Way to Slow Some Opponents Down
Check raising on the flop is also a good way to slow some aggressive players down a bit. It will not only serve to slow the aggressive player down a bit in this hand but also in future hands because once they realize that check raising is a tactic that is in your arsenal then they will think twice before trying it in future hands.
Of course some players are so aggressive that there is virtually nothing that will slow them down and if you are up against one of these players then you better be prepared to be re raised. On the whole aggressive players are more successful than conservative players and many of today’s players try to maintain a balance that is called tight aggressive.
Extracting All Necessary Information
In poker, betting – and even raising – are good ways to gather information. The kind of information that is meant is narrowing the range of possible hands that the opposing player might have by the way that they react to your betting or raising actions. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most important way to extract info from your opponent is to continually study your opponents, keep notes and always – and I mean, ALWAYS – play as many hands as you can to keep your mind fresh and your brain continually working towards making optimal plays.