The play in a cash game on the last two streets is the result of your preflop and flop moves. Although you are facing the final stretch of the game, you must keep in mind that the approach you have followed previously will compromise you now.
For example, on the turn it is essential not to give the impression of weakness, but that will depend on how you played on the flop. Passing on the turn is usually not advisable, since you will be exposed to the interpretation that either you have bad cards or you are not strong enough to face a more than likely re-raise.
Keep reading and discover how to beat your opponents with a good Texas Hold’em cash game strategy!
Texas Hold’em cash game strategy: how to play the turn and river
Let’s start with the turn. Your poker cash game strategy here will depend on your type of game (IP or OOP). Playing IP is always better, because OOP we will be exposed. For example, a card that does not interest us falls on the turn and we are out of position and without a hand. What do we do? We can only pass, but be careful: this will send a message to the opponents that we have bad cards and we are not interested in what has appeared in the turn, giving many clues of our game.
In the worst situations, when we have no hand and the community cards do not help us at all, the check-fold tactic is quite interesting. Although it gives a clear message to the opponents that our game is not going that way, at least we can pass without costing us money. If the villain bets, we skip the check and fold directly.
One of the best poker cash game tips here is to choose the lesser evil, since what is rewarded in cash games is usually not to make mistakes. And taking into account that each mistake can cost you money in this kind of games, passing when the game is not in your face is the most logical thing to do.
If you want to appear strong, or are in a position to do so, you should go with a c-bet. This is perceived as a sign of strength, although it only favors you when your hand is actually good. If it isn’t and you get bluffed, you will soon have to face a fold after a re-raise.
To combat doubts, go with a second continuation bet. This will send the message that you mean business, that your hand is so good that you can’t wait for the river to show your strength. Although there is always a margin for error, many will consider the option of not taking a chance on someone who seems to be going all-in with his cards.
If you intend to bluff, be careful because it will only work with high cards. Try to make sure that they are always disconnected from the community cards. Bluffs are especially effective with players who see the c-bets all the time, keep this in mind when you make your own cash game poker strategy.
Other poker cash game tips for the turn and river in Texas Hold’em
If the turn card fits our project, we call and go to the river. But if we check, the shadow of doubt will be around us. This exposes us to be the center of attention: if we have passed on the turn, maybe our hand is not strong and we have doubts about our chances on the river.
This can happen this way, or it can be used to confuse the opponents before the showdown. Because pretending to have a bad hand at this stage is often what will save you from being the target of attacks.
Contrary to what many people think, a check on the river does not leave us out of the battle for the pot. In fact, it is something we should do if we have managed to form our hand preflop. This has a clear advantage: being able to get to the river ignoring the community cards, which opens a very interesting range of strategic possibilities. Maybe with a good preflop hand a check on the turn or river sends the wrong message to the opponents, and we can catch them by surprise in the showdown with a last-minute bet.
It is also possible to bluff on the river with a premium hand, although it is too risky. Keep in mind that the key in the river is consistency, especially if you intend to bluff. Because here the goal is not to bluff that you have a dominant hand, but to show that your hand is high enough to sow doubt in others. That’s when they will doubt, and when they may withdraw from a hand they had won before the bluff.
When we say that cash games should be approached as a whole, this is why. Because a bluff on the river is not going to work if your play from preflop has not been consistent. You must play well the whole hand so that it can go well, and sometimes even with that you are not guaranteed success. Maybe a pro has you all in on the turn and is letting you play to surprise you at the last moment, making you lose money.
If you are playing out of position, check-calling is the best way to go, as long as the projects end up being completed. This will allow us to control the pot, although it creates the perfect base for the villain to make a textbook bluff. As always, playing OOP engages us more.
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