When to Use the Check/ Raise and All-in Strategies
Two of the most effective instruments that you should learn how to use in your poker games are check/raise and all-in. These can win you sizeable pots when used right, but can similarly be very risky to you if utilized at the wrong time or in the wrong manner.
The check/raise is used to send a warning to your opponents that you have a hand which is stronger than theirs. It's a clever, almost imperceptible move and may escape the notice of unskilled poker players and novices that is why it should only be called upon when playing against more experienced and skilled players.
When you employ the check/raise strategy, you check when it's your turn then bait your opponent into making a bet. And, when he does make a bet, you raise his bet. More seasoned poker players will immediately perceive through your ploy and will normally fold their hand unless they have reason to believe that you're just bluffing or unless they have a very strong hand.
When using this strategy, your opponents will most certainly recognize your intentions and think that you have a superior hand, when the fold, you can win some sizeable pots, especially when more than one of your opponents call the bet. By employing the check/raise strategy, you are declaring at the table that you've got a stronger hand. And, more often than not you will be able to get the rest of the players at the table to fold their hands.
Aside from using this strategy when you've got a strong hand, you can also use it as a bluffing strategy. Your chances of succeeding with this move are pretty good because seasoned players are exceedingly distrustful to call a check/raise move.
Like a check/raise strategy, an all-in bet can get your opponents to fold their hands. If you make an all-in bet, your opponents will think that they ought to have a very good hand to be able to call your bet. Most of the time, they will simply fold their hands.
When you go all-in, you must be aware of positioning. If the last poker player to call has either a very small stack or a very big stack, and everyone else has folded, he might just well decide to call your bet as he will then be in a heads-up situation.
When you are planning to use an all-in bet, remember that it's always better to make an all-in bet than to take the risk of calling one. If you make an all-in bet, you are in effect declaring at the table that you have an unbeatable hand and it's difficult for a poker player to call that bet unless he has reason to believe that he actually has a stronger hand.