In Texas Hold’em, there are four betting rounds. The last round, called the river, happens when all the five community cards are already revealed. Many players have perhaps folded out of the game when at the river. And, usually, the players who have stayed at the river are those who have strong hands. Therefore, what are the things that a poker player must remember when he reaches the river with a strong hand? There are only two goals that a poker player must have. These are:
1. Maximize the value of the winning hand
2. Minimize the losses if playing against better hands
When one has a strong hand, one must stay in the game by betting, or when with premium cards, by raising. Raising will help increase the amount in the pot. And one must keep on betting through all the betting rounds unless one of the community cards is a scare card. A scare card is a card that will surely complete either the flush or the straight of one of the opponents. In such a situation, after the flop, and especially at the river, one must check. If one bets, there is a strong likelihood that one of the opponents will raise one’s bet.
However, if one of the opponents who managed to stay in the game by simply calling bets, suddenly bets or raises at the river, then it is prudent to assume that this particular opponent has finally formed a strong hand. If one has the nuts, then one should bet or raise. Otherwise, against such an opponent, one must fold and cut one’s losses.
There are a few times when one gets a bad beat. A bad beat happens when one has the leading hand in the first three betting rounds. But at the river, one of the opponents suddenly forms a better hand. For example, one opponent holds pocket cards made of a pair of Threes. If the river card is a Three, this opponent immediately has the winning hand. One’s own pair will not stand a chance against the Full House.
Still, one must not be scared of getting a bad beat. If one will always think of such an occurrence, or traumatized by a bad beat, then one cannot hope to win much in poker. Therefore, one must always bet each time he has a strong hand. Besides, bad beats are always part of poker. Disregarding the losses of bad beats, if one keeps on betting his strong hands, he will certainly make a significant profit in the long run.