Playing The Turn in Poker

The turn causes problems because many players just see it as a stop-gap between the flop and the river. But if you can play it well, like every other part of poker, you will profit.

Those studying poker games at sites like note how the turn is often the make-or-break part of a hand; where you decide to make the continuation bet with a strong hand, or where you fold to a firm re-raise.

Players will often bring out the big guns on the turn, having made it relatively cheap for players to call on the flop. By the time the turn comes around, players will be less likely to give you any breathing space with a cheap call, so the raises tend to shoot up.

Aggression is the key to handling the turn. Never let players draw for free. You want to be giving your opponents the tough decisions to make, rather than them giving you the head-scratchers.

If you are drawing to a straight or a flush, you should be willing to carry through on a turn bet with a river bet, even if you don’t hit your draw.

This is because a bet on the turn, followed by a check on the river looks so weak it will almost always be found out. So, if you are unwilling to fire two barrels – one on the turn, one on the river – don’t bother with one.

With marginal hands, it is a fine line between calling or folding on the turn when faced with a raise. Different situations call for different strategies of course, so always make your decision based on table knowledge and your opponent’s style of play.

Any top poker player in games like NLHE knows that the turn is a vital betting round. As pots start to escalate then the turn is the key round that links early play with possible stack commitment. The easiest way to become committed to your hand in poker is in increments. For example pre-flop then it very rarely ends up in an all-in vs all-in situation unless a player has aces and somebody else has kings when stacks are 100bb or more.

In games like full ring then even pocket queens often fold. However when there has been a raise to say 3.5bb and a 3/bet to 11bb and call then there are already around 23bb in the pot. So a bet of 20bb on the flop and call puts 63bb into the pot with two betting rounds to go while with 100bb stacks, each player now only has 69bb left.

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