How To Play River Correctly in Poker.

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How To Play River Correctly in Poker.

A situation on the river in which most players mistakenly fold Playing the river correctly is very important as it is the most expensive move in poker and will have the greatest impact on your final win rate.

More specifically, you should avoid making bad folds on the river .

But don’t get me wrong, very often you will really need to do disciplined folds, especially against tight players. And in this you will often be helped by the HUD, which I will talk about below. However, there are many situations like this, especially against aggressive regulars and recreational players, where you just need to make expensive hero calls.

Many players fold in this situation.

The most obvious example of this situation is when you have a hand like khkd, and the river falls ao. Then the fish bet big, you take a deep breath and fold.

We have all been in such a situation, and you must admit that it is very unpleasant. But is it really worth folding the river in this situation?

Not. In fact, from my great coaching experience, it would be a bad fold too many players.So at the 6-max table we opened with 3 big blinds from early position. Everything is basically standard, but I think it was still possible to increase the sizing, given that the SB is sitting on a fat fish. In fact, this player comes into almost every hand, so when such a cool 8-5-2 board came out, we shouldn’t hesitate to bet, even despite the min-donk from our opponent.

Fish calls by itself (well, that’s why he is a fish!), And we find ourselves on the turn. As a rule of thumb when the board is mating we have to be very careful with our hand because the caller will now have more thrips concentration than our range.

But in this case, do not forget that we are not playing against a tough thinking opponent. We are playing against an absolute fish. So when he checks to us, we should definitely continue to value bet, even on this card.

You should make thin calls on the river.

The most interesting thing happened on the river: an ace came out and the fish popped 1/3 of the pot.

Are we calling? Foldim? Or maybe a raise?

Well, I guess raising is not considered here at all. And there should be no question about that. If we raise on this river card, we only get better calls from our hands and our hands fold worse.

So obviously our choice on the river is between calling and folding.

Check pot odds before calling.

Another thing to pay attention to on the river in this hand is our pot odds . Any more or less experienced player will tell by eye that the pot odds per call are about 4 to 1 .

This means we rarely need to be right in order for a call to be profitable (20% of the time, to be precise). And it becomes quite obvious that this is an easy call for us in this situation.

Of course, many will now see how this particular hand ended, and they think it is a mistake that Hiro called. Keep in mind, however, that poker is not measured by wins or losses in any particular hand. In fact, winning poker is determined by analyzing your opponent’s range and making decisions based on the pot odds and possibly the prior dynamics between you and your opponent.

And obviously, in this case, we just have great pot odds to call against the fish. The fact is that in his range he can have a huge amount of missed draws, worse made hands, and even the purest bluffs. Remember, we only need to be ahead 20% of the time to break out with this call!

And so yes, sometimes we will really run into an ace. However, we have to take into account the entire range of the opponent, and Ax hands are only part of it.

Since we got 4 to 1 odds on the river, this is the easiest call.

Better to make bad calls on the river than bad folds.

Overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to make bad calls on the river than bad folds. At the risk of being called a “nit” or “phone,” you always want to be wrong on the side of most people, especially in today’s aggressive environment.

It’s better to make a bad call on the river, at least because your opponent, seeing this, is unlikely to want to bluff you next time. But if you fold, opponents will often label you as a weak player who can be easily knocked out of the hand.

Personally, I constantly look for these low-limit players and bluff them all day. These are very money guys, who at first might not seem like that to many of you. And in many ways, this is what allowed me to have one of the highest online win rates at micro stakes in the world.

Therefore, the main idea that you should take for yourself from this article is that: to be called “phone” is always better than “nit” .

Don’t be afraid to make difficult, expensive calls on the river and avoid nit folds unless you have a very good reason to do so. And by the way, that’s why I highly recommend using HUD if you are really serious about poker.
You should only watch out for players with an AF (aggression factor) of 2 or lower. This will mean that they are too passive, which means they rarely bluff. And against them you can find hero-folds on the river. Otherwise, against the fish and AF> 3 it’s much better to call.


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