Every player will see more pre-flop hands and more flops in his career than he will turns and rivers

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Your Opponent's Arsenal Part 2: The Turn and River

Last month, I argued that knowledge of a NLHE playerӳ competence on the flop should sometimes influence your pre-flop decisions against him. This is even more true when it comes to his turn and river arsenal, which will be the subject of this article. A good grasp, or even a good guess, of your opponentӳ turn and river play can affect your decisions on earlier streets, possibly turning a call into a fold, a fold into a call, or a raise into a slow-play.

Most players tend to play less deceptively, which is to say less well, on the turn and river than they do pre-flop and on the flop. This is, among other things, a matter of inexperience. Every player will see more pre-flop hands and more flops in his career than he will turns and rivers. Thus, he will have less practice playing the later streets. The turn and river are also where bets tend to be largest and the equity of the losing hand lowest. Many players will be more comfortable semi-bluffing 5% of their stack with 30% equity on the flop than making a pure bluff for 65% of their stack with 0% equity on the river.

What this means for you is that you may be able to play more hands pre-flop and on the flop against an opponent whom you know will not give you difficult decisions when the bets get large. Conversely, against opponents who do play very well on later streets, you may need to tighten up and play more deceptively early in the hand.






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