Knowing to Play the Turn Card
This article will focus on the Turn card strategies and the decisions we make after the card shows up on the table during No-Limit Hold'em.
You can divide the game to three main parts which are playing after the flop is shown, the turn and the river. There are various ways and strategies to play these stages of the game but playing the turn card correctly is where you win or lose money.
Let's say you hold AK (clubs) which is a very strong hand by any means pre-flop whether at live games or online poker. You raise 4 times the big blind and an opponent calls you. The flop comes out A (diamonds) – 5 (hearts) – Q (diamonds). You now have top pair with a very good kicker but no flush draws. You bet the flop to get called by your opponent and the turn shows up to K (diamonds) and here is where it gets tricky – You bet and your opponent shoves All-In.
Now, it's time to think everything from the start. You are sitting with top two pair yet your opponent does not afraid the board and he wouldn't risk all his chips on this kind of board, so what are your options and how should you play a hand like this?
You raised pre-flop only to get called, so your opponent can sit with a pair in his hands or maybe suited connectors, in this case you are most likely beaten because a JT will give him the straight and if he has diamonds, he got the flush. The right thing to do here is throw away your top two pair and here is why:
Your opponent only called you on the flop so this means he was probably chasing a card or trying to get more money from you on the turn, once he re-raised you All-In, this is where you should understand he's not bluffing and he caught his card most likely.
You see, the turn is a very important card to play right, because you can be very strong on the flop but then comes the turn and can change everything for you, just like in this scenario. You should read your opponent and go back all the way to the beginning of the hand, analyze everything and put your opponent on a hand.
Many players will allow themselves to chase the turn card if it's not that costly and catching the card they need will form them a very strong hand, so in a lot of cases it's best to take the money after the flop and not allow players to chase their turn card to beat you there.
A different scenario may be that the turn card made you the nuts and now it's time to think how to extract as much cash from your opponent, this depends how you've played the hand during the flop.
Let's say you hold AT, you raise pre flop and your opponent calls you, the flop comes out A-Q-J, you check and your opponent bets. Because you feel you have the strong hand with a top pair you simply call and the turn comes out K to make you form you a nuts straight.
The best way to play now is to check because:
1. You "tell" your opponent you chased a card but didn't catch it.
2. If you bet now there's a chance he'll fold the hand, but if you check he can bet and you can then re-raise him or even if he checks as well, the river may help him and you'll get more money from him then.
The two examples mentioned in this article just come to show you that there are a lot of ways to play the turn card, but you must be aware how you and your opponent played the flop, and make the best possible decision to lose as little as possible or make as much money as you can from the situation.
Bear in mind that different players play differently so not every player will follow these "guidelines" or understand your poker strategy as for the moves and plays you make, so first and foremost learn your opponents and the players around the table and then don't rush into decisions, play safe, think again about the hand and how it was played and then decide the right move. It takes time and practice but eventually you'll earn your money and be in profit.
Now it's time to play poker and even enjoy rake back at some of the best online poker rooms. To enjoy poker rake back click here and start playing against players from all over the world, just remember to make the right decision when you face the turn card to win even more money.