8: The River
FORGET TO BET THE RIVER
NOT get in the habit of checking on the river simply because you
have a goodbut not unbeatablehand. This is another huge
mistake that mediocre players frequently make. If you think you had
the best hand on the turn you should almost always bet the river,
unless the river put a four-flush or a four-straight on the board.
Example: you have KsKc, and the flop comes Qc Tc 7s. You bet and
get two callers. The turn is the 5s. Again you bet, and again the
same two players call. The river brings the 6c.
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bet here. If someone had flopped a flush draw there’s a good
chance they would have raised earlier on which means it’s less
likely that 6c has made someone a flush. Also, just because a low
limit player calls the turn or river doesn’t mean they have
a big draw. You could easily be up against a hand like J9 and a hand
like Qh 8h. Bet your hand, and collect from the queen.
dynamic changes if there are four or more players at the river. With
three or less, bet just about any hand that was worth a bet on the
turn, providing the river wasn’t too terrifying. Against four
or more, however, you have to start worrying about the flush. After
all, it’s unlikely that everyone has either a Q or a T, and
in a game where players will often play any two suited cards before
the flop you have to keep an eye out for a flush when the third suited
card hits. Against one or two players, however, and often against
three, we go into ‘auto bet’mode on the river. If we
liked our hand on the turn, then we like it on the river. It’s
as simple as that.
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