Using the Check Strategically

If used on the right manner and timing, the check can be a very powerful button in a Poker game. However, most Poker players were not able to apply it to their advantage because of lack of knowledge on the importance of the check.  Majority of players will actually dismiss a check. 

 Why do players check?

It is important to note the motivation of players when they make a check.  It would be to your advantage if you know the motivation.  So, what will prompt a player to use the check?  Below are some reasons:

  1. The player has a bad hand
  2. The player wants to check another player’s hand
  3. The player uses it as a trap

Most of the time, players use the check because they have a marginal hand.

 How and when should you use the Check?

 Check combination

The combination of the check with other moves as well as the timing of the check is very important if you want to optimize your game through checking.

Check should not be used excessively as it makes your moves predictable.  If you check and fold all the time, you are not using check to your advantage.  Majority (in fact 70-80 percent) of the hands that you will have in the Poker game will be folded.  Of course, this is on the premise that you are not an extreme daredevil.  So, if you are the check and fold type, you will check around 70-80 percent of the time. 

 To be effective, check should be combined with raise or calls.  These combinations will make the check powerful.  For instance, in the check and raise combination, it can be very effective because it is not a common action.  You can slowly play your monster if you use the check and raise action.  What you can do is trap the other player by checking and then raise them once they have bet.  Again, use it sparingly.  It will not be effective if the other players are aware of it. 

 So, comes the bluffing part.

Most of time, you need to bluff when you are using the check with the raise or call combination.   Of course, when you do bluffing with the check and call, you are taking the extra risk that there might be a player that have something at the time you called.

 Timing

As mentioned earlier, checking is used to check to find out what does another player has at hand.  Checking is usually used after a flop.  This is more common in online games than in real games as you can’t see the reaction of people online that’s why you need to check what they have. For most of the time, players check the other player’s hand when they suspect that it is a bad hand.  However, if you start the checking chain and everyone checks, you get the advantage of people not noticing that you are actually making a slow play or that you are really checking on a marginal hand.

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  1. Do NOT use Check/Fold button!
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  3. Texas Hold’em hand ranking
  4. Playing Trash Hands

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