Bringing up poker has always intrigued me. I am currently discussing the topic with my columnist, George “The Engineer” Epstein. He sent me a copy of a column he had written back in 2012 for the Poker Players newspaper, describing “The 13 Reasons to Improve.”
He developed this list with Claude Pepper Seniors Poker Group, where he was director. (Now nine years old, the group has grown to over 200 members!) This list is very interesting. George agrees that I can share some of his reasons for raising with our readers on GamingToday visit Dewapoker.
Most players understand raising provides a way to build a pot (increase in value), and an opportunity to steal the pot or bluff to force your opponent (win bets by default). Here are some upgrade strategies you may not have considered:
Increase your stake: you are middle / late with a decent hand; several opponents called to see the flop. Your raise at this point can force players behind you who haven’t declared; double bets (usually more in no-limit games) scare them off. Thus you get a virtual button position – last to act for the rest of this hand, giving you the edge over the player who claims before you.
Get important information: Often, you are not sure how your hand rests on your opponent’s. That information can help you make better decisions later on as the stakes grow bigger and more is at stake.
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Raise it to “see” how your opponent is responding. Reraise by a solid player indicates that your hand is second best; be careful from then on. However, if the reraiser is a deceptive player, he or she may try to bully you out of the pot.
That’s why it’s best to use this upgrade strategy only when you’re holding strong hands or a lot of solid ones, if you’re reraised. This strategy is best (cheaper) on the flop, when the stakes are smaller, than on the next betting round.