If you have been playing properly you will not see the river card unless you have a strong hand that is a favorite to win or you have a draw to a winning hand. Once the river card is turned over, you know exactly what you have. If you were drawing to a hand, you know whether you were successful or not. Obviously if you do not make your hand you will fold.
As with the Turn you should bet your hand if you are first to act. If you bet and the other player folds then they more than likely would have just checked if you had checked in an attempt to check raise.
When you get to the river there are two mistakes that you can make. One is to call a losing bet, which will cost you the price of a bet. The other is to fold your hand, which will cost you all the money in the pot. Obviously folding your hand will be a far more costly mistake then merely calling a bet. If there is a slight chance you may have the winning hand you should call. I’m not advocating calling with nothing but you should call if there is a chance to win.
Reading The Board
Your ability to read the board will help make you a winning player and it is not hard to learn. Since Texas Hold’em is played with community cards turned up for all to see, you can easily determine the best possible hand that can be made from the board cards and two unseen cards. It is extremely important that you learn determine how your hand stacks up against the other possible hands that your opponents may hold. Two situations should send up a red flag when you see them.
If there are three suited cards on the board someone can make a flush. If a player raises when the third suited card is turned over you should be wary of continuing. If there is a pair on the board a player can make four of a kind or a full house.
When you are not involved in a hand you should still pay attention to the game. You can gain valuable information about your opponents simply by observing what hands they play. It’s easy to determine the players who plays and suited cards, or single aces by watching the hands they turn over at the end. That brings me to one final tip.
NEVER SHOW YOUR HAND if you don’t have to. If you win the pot because everyone else folded you are under no obligation to show your cards. You don’t want to give away any information about yourself if you don’t have to And player who turn over their cards when they don’t have to are doing just that.
It is impossible to learn to play expert Hold’em by reading this short article. However I hope that a few of the tips will help you improve your game if you already play or get you started on the right track if you are just starting out. Learning to play winning Texas Hold’em requires reading and studying. If you read just one book about the game you will be ahead of about 80 percent of the other payers at the table. Spending the money for a good poker book is a lot cheaper than trying to get your education at the tables in a live game.