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Poker Dictionary (106) > Check

Checking a Hand in Online Poker

The term 'Check' is used in online poker and live games and is when a player does not want to make a bet .i.e. commit chips to the pot. If there is a bet made before the action folds to you, a player has the option to call the bet, fold or raise. If there is no bet, players have the option to check, which in essence either says, let's see what the next card brings or lets see what you're going to do. It hands the initiative to your opponents to consider making the first bet, assuming there are players left to act.

Much like a Call, checking is also seen as a weak move. It is commonly known that statistically, the player who makes the first bet is more likely to win the pot although there are certainly times when checking can be beneficial to tempt an aggressive player into making a bet.

Why a Player would Check a Hand

You might check as you have an unmade hand and you get to see the next card for free, assuming others may check behind you. Secondly, you may be trapping and have a big hand, hoping for another player to take the bait and bet into the pot. You may also want to get to see a cheap card and may be waiting to see the bet size of an opponent to decide whether you are getting value on the call.

There are many deceptive plays that can be made including the check raise, in which you let your opponent keep firing and call him down (assuming there are no danger cards this is relatively risk free). This can be very effective against a bully who regularly likes to fire 2 or 3 barrels to force opponents off a pot.

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