Raising to Achieve Information

Raising just to achieve information is a risky play and should not be done frequently. Normally, you should consider any information achieved as an extra advantage of a raise you make for other reasons.

There are situations, when you yourself cost less by raising to achieve information first than you would if you had not led your rival into giving his hand away. Such situations generally occur in heads-up and only in early betting rules of poker rounds. Furthermore, your rival should be the kind of the player whose response to your raise is possible to suggest the hand he is holding. Otherwise, your raise may give you incorrect information.

What do you understand by raising? If your rival calls, he possibly has a good reading hands. If he re-raises, he possibly has a best hand. (Because of this reason you cannot raise to achieve information when your rival is the kind of player who is competent of a semi-bluff re-raise.) If your rival folds, that says you he is weak, and you take the money. An additional advantage of raising to achieve information is that your rival may fold an average hands that he shouldn't have folded.

You invest in first raise to achieve information in terms of saving your money in future. For example, in seven stud if you call on fourth street , you may continue to call three more bets only to find in the showdown that you didn't have a opportunity from the beginning. But a raise on fourth street after a call or a re-raise from your rival permits you to play your hand when they know that you are up against extensive strength. Relying upon your own strength, you can then determine whether and how long it's good continuing in the hand.

Suppose with a pair of kings on fourth street , you raise an open pair of 9s in seven-card stud. Your rival re-raises. You think that the rival has three 9s and fold. To risk one bet (your raise), you can save as many as three bets you may otherwise had called on fifth street , sixth street and on the end. Your savings is large when after the fourth street the bet doubles. A trial- balloon raise on a $10 round can save you three $20 calls in future.

However, raising in poker just to achieve information is risky. For example, if that open pair of 9s calls your raise, will you be sure that your rival doesn't have three 9s? What would you do on the next round may not just be clear to you. That's why you should usually stock your raises for other purposes and suggest whatever information you achieve from your rivals' response as an additional advantage.

Raising to Drive Out Worse Hands When You yourself have the Second Best.

Depending on the size of the pot and your judgment of your own and your rivals' hands, it may be right to raise with what you think may be the second-best hand if you can get the third-, fourth- and fifth-best hands out. The reasons to this play were explained in previous chapter. For instance, if the bettor has a 50 percent chance of winning the pot, you have a 30 percent chance and other two hands have the chance of each 10 percent, you improve your chances by driving those two worst hands out with a raise. Now, the best hand may have a 60 percent chance of winning but you have improved your own chances to 40 percent. For instance, in seven stud you may have two kings against a possible two small pair. The other two players behind you have draw straights. By raising them out, you certainly win when you improve to kings-up and may win when your single rival has only one pair and say, a flush draw. Though, if the straight draws stay in, you may lose with kings up against an unimproved two pair when one of the straights gets there.

Raising to Drive Out Better Hands When a Come Hand Bets

Suppose, in seven stud, you have two 10s on fifth street , and the player to your right bets with a flush draw. You are aware that there are a couple of players behind you holding a higher pairs than yours. However, you may raise if you think the better hands can fold rather than call a double bet. When they fold, you become the favorite heads-up against the come hand, and if that player loses his flush, your raise on fifth-street has won you the pot. The online poker player who has bet on the come was hoping at least two callers in order to get proper odds for his bet. Your raise makes the bet into a mistake; as he is not getting a proper return for his investment. Simultaneously, when the players behind you fold after you raise, they too make mistake since their hands are better than yours.

However, when you doubt one or both of the higher pairs behind you will call your raise, you should not raise nor even call the original bet since you beat in two places and may get beat in a third. This rare situation is one of those times when your only option is either to raise or to fold. It is a time when a call is clearly incorrect.

Raising Against Folding or Calling

Raising is the best option than folding, with calling the worst of the three. Such cases occur often when there are several players in the pot. Hence, when you raise with two 10s against someone betting on the come and succeed in driving better hands out, you gain on the hand in the long run. However, when you do not want to try this play, calling cannot be beneficial because you are too big an underdog.

Likewise, it can be correct to raise with what is probably the second-best hand if your raise will drive third-, fourth-, and fifth-best hands out - straight and/or flush draws. Even though, if you know those players are not getting when you raise, instantly your hand may not be worth a call. You not only have a good chance that you are beat by the bettor, but also you will often get caught from behind by one of the drawing hands. When you cannot get the drawing hands out by raising, you have several ways of losing that your best option is to fold.

Suppose, you have two 3s and two 2s before the draw, in five-card draw. This is a game where people come in behind you with medium-sized pairs out. In this situation, you are not bothered to cut your rivals odds, because you can never cut them down enough with your hands concerned. You want them out of the hand, pure and clear. If they stay, you have several ways to lose as any two pair beat you except you hit lucky 11-to-1 shot and make a full house. Thus, if for other reason you decide not to raise or if you think raising will not drive out the people with the medium pairs, then your only option is to give away your two tiny pair. They just have some chance of winning in a multi-way pot to make it worth calling. You should either raise or fold.

As explained earlier, raising is better than calling against a probable semi-bluff when your hand is too good to fold. It is best for many of the reasons. It gives the control of the hand. Sometimes, it permits to win the pot. It permits you to take a free card on the next round when you want it. It avoids your rival from getting a cheap card that may beat you when he is on the semi-bluff. It conceals your hand so that you may win when a useless scare card falls. Raising against a probable semi-bluff is better than calling (except in three cases discussed at the end of the earlier chapter) that unless you can raise, you are normally better off folding.

Often, a semi-bluff raise is revealed even though a call would be precisely un beneficial. For example, you have a four- flush with one card to come. You know the odds against making the flush are 4-to1, and with $40 in the pot, your rival bets $20. That means he is giving you 3-to-1 odds on a 4-to-1 shot. You cannot call the bet as the call has a negative expectation unless if you are pretty sure of winning a double bet on the end when you have hit the flush. In 100 similar cases, you on average win only 20 times but lose 80 times. That means, you will win $60 20 times for a sum of $1200 and lose $20 80 times for a sum of $1600. That is, the net loss would be $400 or $4 per hand. Hence, the decision is clear. The one who makes such calls are persistent losers.

If you fold, you lose nothing beyond the money you put into the pot in earlier betting rounds. But if you know your rival to be weak - to have, say, only one pair and you think there is 25 percent chance that rival will fold suddenly if you raise. Even though the call has a negative expectation, a semi-bluff raise becomes a gainful play. We will check this out over 100 average hands, discounting any bets on the end. Your rival will fold 25 times and you steal $60 for a sum of $1500. He will call you 75 times but out of those one-fifth times you will make flush to beat him. Therefore, you will win 15 times $80 (the $60 in the pot plus your rivals call $20 raise) for a sum of $1200. The remaining 60 times you will lose $40 (your $20 call and $20 raise) for a sum loss of $2400. After 100 such plays, you figure to win $2700 ($1500 plus $1200) and lose $2400 of a net profit of $300 and a mathematical expectation of $3 per play poker . The difference between calling incorrectly and raising correctly is a of $7 - from a $4 loss per play to a $3 profit. Furthermore, if the bets you win on the last round when include making the flush, your expectation even would have been greater.


Some players are cautious of raising especially in case the one just discussed. However, raising should not be unusual play in your arsenal. Whether you get more money in the pot, to drive players out, to semi-bluff, or for other reasons, you should not think to raise when strategic, financial or mathematical considerations need it. Raising may often be the best option of folding, whereas calling is incorrect. Many average players find it tough to believe, as has seen, it is certainly true. It further highlights the proverb that a caller in poker is a loser in poker games.