Check in the Dark in Poker
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Imagine you're in a room with no lights, and you are unable to see. However, you try to find your way out of the room or look for the switch for the lights, which means you are trying to do something ‘in the dark’. Similarly, if you take any action before taking a look at the cards dealt just before the betting hand, your action is said to be ‘in the dark’. This action cannot be done just by hand signals, so it must be done verbally.
To act ‘in the dark’ doesn’t convey anything to your rivals. Therefore, this phrase is used quite often in two different ways in games such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha - ‘check in the dark’ and ‘bet in the dark’. Here, we discuss ‘check in the dark’.
To ‘check in the dark’ in a game of poker simply refers to check without even looking at the cards. It means to announce to your rivals that regardless of other cards, your hand is not worth betting. The player who decides to check in the dark announces that he will ‘check’ in the next round, without caring about which cards are dealt.
Basically, there are two situations where a player is said to have checked in the dark-
❏ First, when a player acts on a betting round before the exposure of the cards of that betting round.
❏ Second, when a player acts on a betting round after other players who also have checked in the dark.
After a player announces to check in the dark, he/she cannot take their decision back after the cards are exposed.
There are some shortcomings of using this strategy. When you check in the dark, the dealer simply wraps up the table and deals out the next card without asking whether you’d like to take any action in that round or not. You have to give a free card or showdown, in order to just scare your rival from betting.
However, the strength you get here is to create an unwanted threat of check-raise for your rival. Your rival will have no relevant input from you still he/she will be forced to take action.
Sometimes, the ‘in the dark’ phrase is confused with ‘in the blind’ which has a completely different meaning. Still some novice players use these two phrases synonymously.
To truly master poker and the various strategies, you must be aware of the different poker terms. Also, you need to practice the game on a regular basis.
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