• July 24, 2021

Handling the Turn in Texas Hold'em

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Handling the turn in Texas hold’em can be tricky business. While different poker situations will require different strategies, there are some basic approaches a player can take to turn play that should make things easier.
In Position
This is one of the toughest situations in poker. You have flopped top pair, but there are two spades on the board and you have no spades. You bet and are called and a third spade comes on the turn. What do you do? If you are in position and are checked to, it’s sometimes a good idea to check as well. If you bet and your opponent raises you, you may have to fold. If you check, an opponent may bet on the river, but he might not, and if he does, he may bet an amount that it is cheap enough for you to call on the off chance that he is bluffing.
An alternative is to bet a small amount on the turn. If your opponent does not have spades, he may fold or flat call. Even if he made the flush, he may simply call and then check the river hoping to trap you for more bets. You can of course then check the river and show down the hand safely. A good idea in these situations is often to bet as much as you would be willing to call if you checked and your opponent bet.
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Out of Position
Out of position, you are in a tough situation. If you check, your opponent may sense weakness and bet whether he has a hand or not. Betting the amount you would call in this situation may also be appropriate, however you will again have a tough decision if your opponent raises. If your opponent flat calls, you will have another tough decision regarding whether or not to bet on the river.
As you learn to read your opponents and the flow of the game, these turn betting decisions will become easier. Until then, you will have to rely on your instincts and the skills you have honed to this point.
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Steve Carr

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