• August 3, 2021

Online Poker Dictionary: Scare Card

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Scare Card is a  card which is dangerous enough to scare the player who has been betting, because it completes one or more powerful draws.  Is one that a player thinks improved his opponent’s hand, yes, but there is more to it than that. The player must feel that it improved his opponent’s hand to the detriment of his own. If a player has a monster hand, he wants the board to help his opponent, so that the opponent thinks he has the best hand.
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It is typically used to describe a dangerous turn or river card in a flop game. It is called a scare card because it can do just that, scare the player who has been betting. The turn or river card frequently changes the complexion of the board and can make the player who has been betting question whether his hand is still good, because the newly dealt card appears to complete a powerful drawing hand. Sometimes, if the scare card is dangerous enough, it will cause the player who has been betting to check instead.
Any card that completes a nut straight, a flush, or full house can be considered a scare card. Since your opponent will frequently hold an ace, an ace can also be considered a scare card when it hits. When a turn or river card brings a three flush or a four flush, or if the board pairs or double pairs, it is often considered a scare card. Depending upon the quality of the potential straight, and the texture of the board, a card that potentially completes a straight may or may not be dangerous, and therefore may or may not be considered a scare card.
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When you have five community cards on board, a straight is often possible, but not every straight is likely to be present. Many of these straights are completed only by non-connecting, low ranking cards which your opponent is unlikely to be holding. For example if the flop came 9-5-2, any A, 3, 4, 6, 7, or 8 makes the straight possible. But, for the most part, these are unlikely combinations for your opponents to be holding. Therefore, the cards that fill in this straight are typically not considered scare cards. Alternatively, If the Flop comes J-T-8, Any A, K, Q, or 9, would likely be considered a scare card, because the hands that complete a straight in this situation are frequently played.
So the danger level associated with a scare card is defined by the other related cards on the board. A scare card becomes extremely dangerous if you opponent need only use one of his hole cards to complete his hand, rather than both. This occurs most frequently when there is a four card straight or flush on the board, or if the board is double paired. Sometimes, in a really dangerous scare card situation, a single card can appear likely to complete multiple draws.
When a scare card hits, the player who is betting must decide if the card is dangerous enough to make them stop betting and check their hand.
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Steve Carr

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