Calling Big Bets on The River

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Calling Big Bets on The River


The river is where fortunes are won and lost in Texas hold'em. If you can play the river, you stand a good chance to come out ahead over the course of your poker play. You might even make it far in the WSOP 2009. If you don't know how to play the river, you could be in for some serious hits to your bankroll. Here are a few things to keep in mind about calling big bets on the river.

A Big Bet Does Not Necessarily Mean a Bluff

There are many players who habitually go all in on the river with the nuts, even if it is a big overbet. They figure that there is a chance that their play will read as a bluff, and if they get called even one time it is worth it.

A Big Bet Does Not Necessarily Mean a Big Hand

On the other hand, a big bet out of context should be cause for doubt. If a player has been making no effort to build a pot and then makes a huge bet on the river, especially if the board shows a busted straight or flush draw, you should give serious consideration to the possibility that this player is on a steal.

Play the Whole Hand, Not Just the River

You can’t play each street in isolation, figuring that you will decide what to do when you get there. Before you call or make a bet on the turn, you should have an idea what you will do on the river if a scare card comes, if a scare card does not come, if your opponent bets big, if your opponent bets small, if your opponent checks. The more possibilities you consider earlier in the hand, the easier decisions will be later. Furthermore, you must be observant and consider the play of the hand all the way through. Try to put your opponent on a range of hands and ask yourself if the way they played the hand up until this point is consistent with the big river bet. If it's not, you may have to trust your instincts and call. If it is, it’s okay to lay your hand down

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