The turn in poker is a vital moment in a game. Coming right after the flop, which is the first three cards to be dealt, it is called the turn because it is the moment that can turn the tide of the game. The turn is the third round of betting and the fourth card overall to be dealt out. Why is it so important though?
Well, as mentioned, it can turn the tide of the game. If you can master the turn, then you have the ability to make sure that the game will go in your favour whenever possible. Here are the easy ways to master the turn when you are just starting out playing poker.
When playing poker and it gets to the turn, it is relatively simple in general whether you should keep betting. Do you think you have a hand that could win? If you think your hand could win, then it makes sense to keep betting. That does not just mean that you have a winning hand already though. Obviously, you could well have a winning hand already in theory, but you could have the potential for a winning hand after the turn.
This could mean that you only need one card to complete a flush or a straight. In this situation, if you think the turn has a good chance of giving you a hand that is going to be very hard to beat, then you should bet to continue. Make sure that you build up the pot by a good amount for when you get to the river.
This is the other thing to take into account. If your opponent is betting strong after the flop, or if there is a pair in the community cards, then there is a chance that your opponent is sitting on a good hand. If you have a poor to average hand and your opponent is showing signs that they have a good hand, then it makes sense to drop out. Poker is not all about the quality of your hand – it is equal parts judging what your opponent has too.
Of course, they could be bluffing, but unless you have a very strong hand yourself, do you really want to call their bluff? It could be very easy to lose big if you call a bluff with a mediocre hand and they have a good hand. More experienced players will know when to call a bluff on a weaker hand, but as a beginner player, this is not something that you want to be doing.
After the turn is when things can get really spicy. Your own hand should dictate what you do after the turn. If you only need one card to make what you feel will be a winning hand, then you want to try to keep the wagers down for the river. This is because you need that final card. If you raise the betting artificially, then there is a good chance that other players will fold and you will not get the chance to take that little bit more away from them. Make sure that you stay calm and try to extract as much as possible from the other players.
Of course, if you are absolutely sure that you already have a winning hand, then it makes sense to raise the stakes as much as possible. Because the others might be waiting for a winning card from the river, you raising the stakes makes them less likely to go for it. Even though your hand is likely to win, you do not want to give your opponents the chance to take another card that could give them a hand that challenges yours. Make it expensive – that way, if they do take it, you can take them to the cleaners when you show your hand.
If your hand is not improved by the turn card, then you need to think carefully about whether you want to keep betting after the turn. Unless you think there is a good chance of you getting the card you need on the river, then it could be time to fold. No point going in for more than you need to if you are going to lose anyway.
You do not always need to call on the turn. If you called on the flop without having a strong hand, and your opponent is betting strong all of the way through this, then there is a good chance they have a strong hand. As you do not have a strong hand to challenge them, it makes sense to fold before you go in too deep. Why keep feeding money to another player if you are not confident in your hand?
It is important to look at the community cards as well. If they are showing a pair, then there is a possibility of being up against a full house. If your hand is not on the way to beating a full house, then it could be worth folding just to mitigate the risk of this occurring.
The best place for you to practice your dealing with the turn is here at Bitcasino. With a wide range of games for you to try out, it makes it a simple task to improve your skills as you go along. Just find the game that appeals to you the most and you can go from there.
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Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock and Bitcasino