Check in Poker
Table of content:
- What does check in poker mean?
- Check in poker strategy
- How to Use Checking as Part of Your Poker Strategy
- When is checking a legal option in poker?
- What does it mean to ‘check in the dark’?
If you are a poker newbie, then one of first things you must learn about poker are the different actions involved in it. One such action that commands significant importance is what is a check in poker. In this post, we will be explaining what call and check in poker mean along with the ideal check poker strategy.
What does checking mean in poker? When a player checks in poker, he simply passes the action to another player without making any wager. It is imperative to remember that you can only be checking in poker when no one has placed a bet before you on the current street. But if another player has made a bet before you on the current street then your only options are to call, raise or fold.
Vital to this, players generally do not have an option of checking in poker during the pre flop round unless they are specifically playing from the big blind position. This is because in games like Texas Holdem that has blinds, the small blind and big blinds usually act as the initial bets. Therefore, players are not allowed to call and check in poker because there is already a bet before them.
Moving on, let us understand the concept of call and check in poker better with a help of a short example:
Let’s assume you are playing a game of poker wherein you have been dealt 5 of hearts and 5 of diamonds as starting cards. The flop round comes and 3 cards – 2 of spades, 8 of clubs and Aces of hearts are dealt face up. You are second to act after the flop round and the person before you has already passed the action. Now, since you hold pocket 5s but have not hit a three of a kind on the flop, your chances of winning this hand are currently quite bleak. Therefore, instead of committing too much to the pot you might decide to pass the action to the next player without making a bet. The act of passing the action is known as checking in poker.
By now, you must have got a fair idea of what check in poker means. Now, in this section we have detailed the ideal checking poker strategy.
To be honest, checking poker is generally seen as a pretty weak move as it signals to the opponents you have a mediocre to bad hand. But this is not to say checking in poker is always a bad move. Instead, if used strategically, call and check in poker can be used as a way to deceive or mislead the strength of a strong hand. This is popularly known as slow playing in poker and can be employed when you have a strong enough hand but want to deceive your opponents into betting more and building the pot for you.
Vital to this, you can also resort to checking poker in a bid to see the next card for free. Such a move generally makes sense when you have a drawing hand such as straight draw or a flush draw, the value of which depends on whether you hit the right card or not.
When we're trying to keep the size of the pot small, checking makes sense. This method could signal that we're dealing with a marginal or rubbish hand. With a firm hand, checking can also be used to deceive or mislead (referred to as Slowplaying).
When out of position and facing an opponent who took the last aggressive action on the preceding street, checking is a common tactic. This isn't usually the best strategy, but many players have acquired a habit of checking against an opponent who was aggressive the previous street.
When no bets have been placed on the current betting round, checking is the sole permissible alternative. Our lawful alternatives are to call, fold, or raise if a bet has already been placed.
Because the huge blind post counts as the first bet, most players are unable to check during the preflop betting round. The big blind, on the other hand, can check before the flop if no one else raises.
Preemptively checking without waiting to see which cards are dealt is known as "checking in the dark." A player cold-calling out of the large blind, for example, might say 'check in the dark' before the flop is dealt. His decision to check is now final, regardless of which cards fall.
Apart from the prospect of psyching out or confusing our opponents, there is no strategic advantage to acting in the dark.
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