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StrategyFixed Limit

Standard Lines: Advanced River-play


In this article
  • When to bet? When to check?
  • Call, raise or even fold?
  • Why you have to bet/fold once in a while

At first glance, decisions on the river appear to be the easiest to make. You don't have to count odds & outs anymore. You don't have to think about probabilities of a draw hitting any longer. Concepts such as protection and semi-bluffs have suddenly become irrelevant. All possible information about cards and betting sequences is available to you and all you have to do is to determine which move would be the best.

In practice, this is a lot harder than you would initially assume. There are a multitude of possible lines and every single one can be optimal under certain circumstances. Leaks in your river-play can detract a considerable amount from your win rate; folds in the wrong spots can cause a lot of lost big pots and constant calls in situations where you should give up become very expensive, as well.

In this article, you will get to know which things to pay attention to in order to get to the decision with the highest expected value. As usual, the path to the correct decision leads past the analysis of the opponent's hand range.

First let us differentiate between two fundamentally different situations and establish an understanding for the criteria that play a role in making our decision:

  • You're out of position or in position and the opponent checked to you. You have to decide: check or bet? Even though there are differences between oop and ip, the logic behind a river bet is the same.
  • Someone bets and you have to decide: call, fold or raise?

Following this, we will take a closer look at particular lines you can play on the river and we will go through some examples to illustrate when you can use a certain line. Finally, you will be able to test your acquired knowledge in a quiz at the end of the article.


That's not the entire article...

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Comments (1)

#1 morc1us, 15 Feb 10 23:14

If you take these concepts to heart and apply them correctly, you will be well awarded for playing correctly on the river.