Players play an important skill in poker; one that most people don’t think about and forget. They need to know when to apply pressure. Pressure is an important word in poker as it brings about change to the game. Usually, when a player raises pre-flop, he is showing to his opponent the strength of his hand. It can also be Impelled by something that a player has done that suggest the strength of his hand. As a result, when a player raises, his opponent will call with any hand that has a high card. As a result of the game, the player benefits from the increased pot size, as the opponent players are likely to fold an hand when they think they are beaten.
However, there are scenarios in which you want to be more cautious. If you have good cards and you raise pre-flop, you are likely to scare away other players in the hand. If you have nothing and you raise pre-flop, it is likely nobody has made a decision about whether to play against you.
In those cases, you are better off either calling the raise or folding. Both are acceptable, even preferable. Either way, you are controlling the aspect of the game. By raising pre-flop, you are showing to your opponents that you have a better hand than they do. In return, they are suggesting that you have a weaker hand than they do.
If you have AK and the flop is 47J with two clubs, you are making a continuation bet on the flop. The player to your left bets half the pot. This indicates pre-flop he has something like pocket Jacks. Should you call or raise? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a trick question. You need to have a better hand than he does to play against him.
Now let’s say you call his bet.
The turn gives you a pretty big hand, but you are still the slight favorite. The same player bets again, all-in on the river. You now need to take a third option into consideration.
Should you call? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a trick question. You need to have a better hand than he does to play against him.
This is a situation where you can’t control the information you do get. It’s a bit like sending out a message to the world: you will bluff, but only time will tell your opponent what you meant.
If you call the all-in, take these three observations into consideration:
a. Your opponent is pot committed and has a higher percentage to call a substantial raise than fold or check to him.
b. You will be up against more inexperienced players that are more prone to call rather than raising.
c. If you are called, you are probably behind and your best option is to fold, or check the flop.
So, in a nutshell, act before you call in order to manipulate the information you send out to your opponents.