Texas Hold ‘Em: Playing The Turn

If you’ve made it to the turn in a hand of Texas Hold ‘Em poker, you need to move from being a passive player into being an assertive player that takes advantage of mistakes of the other players while avoiding the inertia that keeps you in hands that you shouldn’t be involved in. This is one of the keys to good poker turn strategy.

Simply put, this is how you should play the turn: bet aggressively if you think you have the best hand; call with rather strong hands and don’t even blink when it comes to folding with poor hands. Don’t be a player that’s stayed in on the hand just because they want to see another card and they’ve already gone this far. This is not any real type of poker strategy; it’s throwing bad money in after good.

With a smaller field, play is simultaneously simplified and complicated because what was once a pure numbers game now relies more heavily on one-n-one decisions and interaction. Fewer players means fewer moment-to-moment choices, but the decisions that you have to make are now much more important in relation to the game. Here are some general tips that I’ve found apply to the turn and how the rest of the game plays out.

Avoid Checking When You’ve Got Strong Hands

This doesn’t work as a psychological tactic, ever. Most online poker games are played for low stakes and thus this sort of effort to get more players in on a pot yields minimal results. A strong hand should mean an aggressive bet.

Don’t Bluff Calling Stations

While we’re talking about the psychological aspects of the game, some people are just always going to call, no matter what. Keep from even trying them and think of them as an ATM that distributes chips to you when you’ve got a good hand.

Weak Hands Should Be Put Down

Don’t raise, don’t call, just fold. Again: the mental aspects of poker rarely mean much in most lower-stakes poker games and it’s not worth throwing chips in on a table where you’re likely to be called. This is especially true in smaller-value hands where the bet amount can’t be enough to scare the players into getting out of the hand.

Simple, clear play is likely to be more rewarding to poker players, particularly in lower-stakes game where math rules the school. Keep this is mind and you’ll have a more successful time playing poker!