Check Calls and Leads

Check Calls and Leads

Point 34: Bizzaro Poker: Betting into Strength, Checking to Weakness

Ok, lets get this straight, bets represent strength, checking represents weakness. Wait, don't leave yet I am going to make a point, eventually.

So here is another source of strength. Checkcalls. Let me set this up. You are on the button and raise your normal 3X BB bet. One caller. The flop comes you bet 3X the BB after being checked to by the caller, the guy flat calls again. Now if you have missed the flop, you better take a hard look at committing anymore chips to this pot. This guy has flat called you twice now, he probably has something. Bluff calls are very rare (rilla says he does it, i rarely do, very rarely) The question here is, is betting the turn and/or the river against a guy who has proved he is willing to call you, the best use of your chips when you know you are behind.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Don't bluff the unbluffable and don't bluff into strength. If you have got a dog of hand and you have had your raise called twice, is the best use of your chips another bet or can you find a better situation to get them into the pot. Now it very well may be you need to fire all in on the turn because you have to have the pot, just don't be like the monkey who gets caught in trap because he can't let go of the banana.

Ok, second point, if they check to you on the flop and the turn, what are you waiting for? This is like serving you up a fine meal, you don't stare at, its time to eat. If they check to you twice, please take a seat and enjoy your meal. Here is the interesting part, the scarier the board, the more effective the bet. With two checks, most people have already given up on the pot, they are hoping you bet so they don't have to keep pushing the check button (don't we get lazy sometimes).

So I bring these points up because I was watching someone last night and he made both of these mistakes. He is a fine winning player. How could he cripple himself overbetting a missed hand, then not take the chips that were offered? It is easy to do, in fact we all do it, we latch on to our AK's like a dying man to his last breath, ignoring all reality that we are beat badly then turn around a check down a pot we could have easily captured, all within a few hands. Bizzaro poker at its finest.