Which hands to verify/raise the river?
Check/raising the river is a single of the trickier prospects in poker. It is a scary factor to do as a bluff and when you do it for worth, but the Villain checks back, you really feel like you missed a bet.
Thanks to the solvers, however, we have learned the ideal hands for verify/raising the river each as bluff and worth.
When it is for value with a sturdy hand you want to unblock the Villain’s betting variety. When it is as a bluff you want to choose hands that would win at showdown if it had been checked back but you can turn into a bluff when it isn’t.
Let’s appear at an example.
We have arrived at a river and the board reads A A K 3 Q. Beneath is a table of the hands we are left with, out of position, that we at times verify/raise. All our other hands in our range are leads, check/calls or verify/folds.
The yellow lines are occassional verify/raises. You can barely see it, but any hand with a number below it is also a check/raise. JJ/TT/QJs/Q8s/Q7s are amongst these and they make up a extremely little portion of the range, just .36% of hands. The worth hands are great Ax hands and JT for a straight.
Keep away from fancy play syndrome
JJ/QJs/Q8s/Q7s and TT are bluffs, they block AQ and JT. Crucially they also most likely win if the opponent does not bet. It’s challenging to pick verify/raise bluffs but they are ideal created up of hands that have OK showdown worth until your opponent bets, but you have a blocker. So TT will often be ahead when you check and your opponent checks behind, but when they bet you no longer like the hand. TT, even so, blocks AT and JT making it a much greater bluff than 99 which doesn’t block anything.
Deciding the value to keep back for a check/raise is also difficult. JT is held back right here simply because it unblocks Ax hands, so there is more opportunity they will bet when checked to. Ax hands are held back less simply because they block other Ax hands, so it is much better to lead out to stop your opponent checking back a hand they would have named. Hold backs must unblock value bets. We do have to hold back some Ax, however, to keep away from getting exploited.
The river check/raise is usually related with fancy play syndrome and you can undoubtedly fall into that trap if you do it often. It is not a move you ought to be carrying out at high frequency unless you have a sturdy read on your opponent. Also in softer games it is typically much better to lead out to assure your opponent has to contact to continue. But if in doubt, the unexploitable strategy to river check/raises is basic and applicable regardless of whether you are playing GTO or exploitative poker.
Dara O’Kearney’s new book Endgame Poker Method: The ICM Book is out now.