When to Raise the River (98% of Poker Pros Agree)

When to Raise the River

Something
that
confuses
a
lot
of
newer
poker
players
in
particular
is
when
to
raise
the
river.
This
is
especially
the
case
in
small
stakes
games,
which
the
majority
of
people
play.

Should
you
only
raise
the
river
with
the
nuts?
How
about
with
bluffs?
How
about
with
middle
strength
hands
like
trips
weak
kicker,
top
pair
and
so
on?
These
are
a
few
of
the
questions
I
am
going
to
answer
in
this
article.
Here
is
your
complete
guide
to
when
to
raise
the
river
in
small
stakes
poker
games
in
particular.
The
vast
majority
of
poker
pros
agree
with
this
strategy!


[Last
Chance]

The
Black
Friday
Sale
on
all
my
poker
books
and
my
video
course
has
been
extended
by
24
hours. Take
advantage
of
my

biggest
sale
of
the
year.


You
Should
Raise
the
River
for
Value
the
Vast
Majority
of
the
Time

Let
me
say
right
off
the
bat
that
in
my
opinion
you
should
only
be
raising
the
river
for
value
the
large
majority
of
the
time.
And
what
I
mean
by
that
is
raising
the
river
with
big
value
hands
such
as:
  • Two
    pair
  • Trips
    good
    kicker
  • Set
  • Straight
  • Flush
Now
it
will
depend
on
the
board
texture
and
your
opponent
in
the
hand.
But
primarily
at
the
lower
stakes
you
want
to
only
raise
the
river
when
it
is
clearly
for
value.
Therefore,
you
should
typically
not
be
raising
the
river
as
a
bluff
or
with
middle
strength
hands
like
top
pair,
middle
pair
and
so
on.


Why
Should
You
Avoid
Raising
the
River
as
a
Bluff?

So,
why
should
you
avoid
raising
the
river
as
a
bluff
or
with
middle
strength
hands
in
small
stakes
games?
Well,
the
reason
why
you
want
to
avoid
this
is
because
they
will
simply
call
you
down
if
you
have
a
bluff.
And
because
with
middle
strength
hands
like
top
pair
or
trips
weak
kicker,
there
is
often
no
reason
to
raise
(they
will
simply
call
you
with
better
hands
and
fold
all
their
bluffs!).
Check
out
the
example
hand
below
to
see
a
clear
illustration
of
this.
As
I
discuss
at
length
in

Crushing
the
Microstakes,
poker
players
at
these
limits
tend
to
call
too
much.
So
the
worst
thing
you
can
do
versus
a
bunch
of
calling
stations
is
try
to
bluff
them
or
go
for
super
thin
value.

The
other
thing
is
that
you
don’t
have
to
“balance
your
range”
at
the
micros
like
you
will
need
to
do
against
higher
level
opponents
in
higher
stakes
games.
And
what
I
mean
by
that
is
that
most
players
in
small
stakes
games
aren’t
paying
attention
to
what
hands
you
raise
the
river
with
and
which
hands
you
just
call
with.
The
other
thing
about
the
small
stakes,
especially
if
you
play
online,
is
that
the
player
pool
is
often
so
large,
that
it
is
difficult
to
pay
attention
to
individual
players.
The
player
pool
in
higher
stakes
games
by
contrast
is
often
much
smaller
and
so
you
will
often
play
against
the
same
people
day
in
and
day
out.
Higher
stakes
players
are
also
much
more
likely
to
be
using
a
program
like

PokerTracker
to
study
your
tendencies
and
make
notes
on
you
away
from
the
tables.



[Last
Chance]
The Black
Friday
Sale
on
all
my
poker
books
and
my
video
course
has
been
extended
by
24
hours. Take
advantage
of
my biggest
sale
of
the
year.


Example
Raising
the
River
Hand
Gone
Bad!

Let’s
look
at
a
hand
that
I
just
reviewed
yesterday
on

my
poker
YouTube
channel.

In
this
hand
we
are
dealt
A8 in
the
cutoff
in
a
6max
1c/2c
cash
game
online.
After
a
preflop
mini-raise
from
semi-loose
opponent,
we
decide
to
3-bet.
Now,
in
general
I
am
not
a
huge
fan
of
3-betting
preflop
here.
I
would
much
rather
just
call
the
small
preflop
raise
and
see
a
flop
with
a
really
nice
speculative
hand
in
position.
By
the
way,
to
see
the
full
range
of
hands
that
I
suggest
playing
for
cash
games,
tournaments
and
zoom,
make
sure
you
grab
a
copy
of

my
free
poker
cheat
sheet.

I
would
much
rather

polarize

my
3-betting
range
at
the
micros
in
a
spot
like
this
by
only
doing
it
with
premium
hands
and
occasionally
as
a
bluff
with
a
speculative
hand.
But
versus
weaker
recreational
players,
I
see
absolutely
no
need
to
balance
anything
and
so
I
will
almost
never
bluff
them
(I
will
just
always
call
them
with
speculative
hands
like
A8).
And
then
of
course
I
will
3-bet
them
every
time
with
my
big
premium
hands
like
AA,
KK,
AK
and
so
on.
Anyways,
let’s
move
on
to
an
analysis
of
the
flop
in
this
hand.
When
the
flop
comes
very
favourable
for
us:
QJA
I
definitely
like
raising
up
the
small
fish
bet
that
our
opponent
makes
here.
However,
I
prefer
making
our
raise
pot
size
in
a
situation
like
this
to
around
30
cents.
The
reason
why
is
because
this
forces
them
to
pay
the
price
if
they
are
on
some
nonsense
draw
or
have
some
weak
bottom
or
middle
pair
type
hand.
Anyways,
the
recreational
player
calls
and
we
go
to
a
turn.


Make
$1000+
Per
Month
With
My
Free
Poker
Cheat
Sheet

Are
you
having
trouble
beating
low
stakes
poker
games
online
or
live?
Are
you
looking
to
make
a
consistent
part
time
income
playing
these
games?

When to Raise the River

That
is
why
I
wrote
this
free
little
50
page
poker
cheat
sheet
to
give
you
the
exact
strategies
to
start
consistently
making
$1000
(or
more)
per
month
in
low
stakes
poker
games
right
now.
These
are
the
exact
poker
strategies
that
I
have
used
as
a
10+
year
poker
pro.
And
I
lay
them
all
out
for
you
step
by
step
in
this
free
guide.
Enter
your
details
below
and
I
will
send
my
free
poker
cheat
sheet
to
your
inbox
right
now.


Knowing
When
to
Pot
Control
on
the
Turn

Continuing
on,
the
turn
in
this
hand
comes
with
is
a
total
brick:
3
When
the
recreational
player
bets
out
30%
of
the
pot
this
time,
I
definitely
prefer
just
calling
in
this
spot
now.
We
don’t
want
to
be
raising
in
a
situation
like
this.
This
is
a
perfect
situation
to
pot
control
instead.
And
the
reason
why
is
because
all
we
actually
have
at
this
point
is
top
pair
with
a
mediocre
kicker.
This
is
not
the
kind
of
hand
that
we
want
to
be
playing
for
stacks
with!
This
is
instead
the
perfect
spot
to
just
call
in
position,
try
to
improve
to
either
the
nut
flush
on
the
river
or
perhaps
two
pair
or
trips.


Flat
Calling
the
River
Instead
of
Raising

When
the
river
comes
with
the:
A
We
actually
do
improve
to
trips.
However,
this
is
a
deceptive
situation
because
we
must
remember
that
there
are
many
hands
that
still
beat
us
on
this
board
such
as:
  • Any
    better
    trips
  • Straight
  • Full
    house
And
so
on.
So
when
the
recreational
player
decides
to
bet
half
pot
on
the
river,
I
really
like
just
calling
in
this
spot
instead
of
raising.

Because
I
think
by
raising
the
river
in
this
situation
we
only
get
two
outcomes:
1.
We
get
called
by
better
hands
2.
We
fold
out
nearly
all
worse
hands
In
other
words,
raising
the
river
here
is
a
lose/lose
situation
for
us.
There
is
very
little
good
to
be
gained
for
us
at
all.
This
is
an
extremely
important
point
that
you
need
to
understand
in
small
stakes
games
in
particular.
Always
ask
yourself
what
is
to
be
gained
when
you
raise
or
bet
in
any
situation
(not
just
the
river).
Is
it
clearly
definable
as
being
for
value
or
as
a
bluff?
If
you
can’t
resoundingly
answer
yes
to
either
of
these
questions,
then
the
best
play
is
often
to
just
check
or
call
instead
of
betting
or
raising.
And
as
you
can
see
by
the
results
of
this
hand,
the
best
decision
to
make
on
the
river
was
indeed
to
just
call
instead
of
raising.


Final
Thoughts

So,
when
should
you
raise
the
river
especially
if
you
play
low
stakes

online
poker
games
in
particular?

Well,
I
would
suggest
only
doing
it
when
you
have
an
extremely
strong
“nut”
hand
or
occasionally
as
a
complete
bluff.
I
would
steer
clear
of
raising
the
river
with
a
good
but
not
great
hand
like
we
saw
in
the
example
hand
in
this
post.
In
other
words:

Polarize
your
river
raising
strategy:
1.
Big
value
2.
Big
bluff
(although
you
should
rarely
do
this
in
small
stakes
games)
And
that
is
because
by
raising
with
middle
strength
hands
it
creates
all
sorts
of
problems
where
we
don’t
know
how
often
we
are
getting
called
by
worse
hands
or
we
are
simply
building
the
pot
for
a
better
hand.
Don’t
make
things
so
difficult
for
yourself
in
small
stakes
games.
This
is
why
so
many
people
lose.
They
over-complicate
things
and
try
to
get
way
too
tricky
against
low
level
opponents.
It
is
instead
a
far
better
idea
to
always
keep
things
as
simple
as
possible
in
small
stakes
games
and
make
your
decisions
very
black
or
white:

Make
big
bets/raises
when
it
is
definitely
for
value
or
definitely
as
a
bluff.


Avoid
everything
in
between!
Lastly,
if
you
want
to
know
my
complete
poker
strategy
that
I
have
used
as
a
10+
year
poker
pro,
make
sure
you
grab
a
copy
of

my
free
poker
cheat
sheet.



[Last
Chance]
The Black
Friday
Sale
on
all
my
poker
books
and
my
video
course
has
been
extended
by
24
hours. Take
advantage
of
my biggest
sale
of
the
year.

When to Raise the River

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