The Turn Play In Texas Hold'em

Poker features several betting rounds, you can bet money before the flop, on it and on the turn and river. This article will be about the turn play in No-Limit Hold'em. Turn is one of the most important betting rounds, as this is exactly where you have to decide, whether you'll be looking to play for stacks or not. Making a bet on the flop and turn will often leave you with a pot sized bet left, for the river betting round. This makes turn one of the most important streets. There are several factors, all of them equal in their importance, that you'll need to consider and have in mind.

Your competition

While this is obvious, many players don't really concentrate on the most important – your opponent. The cards you are holding are of second importance, most of the time. If you can get into your opponents head, you'll beat him with pretty much any two cards.

Based on what's the type of your opponent, you'll choose between betting, checking and some advanced moves, such as check/raising. While you always want to play against weak opponents, sometimes you'll face good, regular players. You'll have to come up with a strategy against these as well.

Range based thinking

Forget about '' I put you on XX, I call'' thinking. If you want to be a successful player, you'll have to start thinking about hand ranges. Poker is a game of incomplete information and you almost never can put your opponent on two cards only, you can ,however, put them on hand ranges. Can should probably be changed to SHOULD. While turn is not the only street where you should think range based, it's the most important one. Often, you'll decide whether to play for stacks or not, exactly on the turn.

Baluga Theorem

There's a specific theorem made for the play on turn in poker – Baluga Theorem. It got its name from the player who invented it, BalugaWhale. While it was invented back in the 2003, when games were WAY easier and filled with weak players, theorem still works pretty well today.

The theorem itself advises, that you should fold all your speculative holdings, if facing a turn raise from a solid player. By speculative I mean all 1 pair hands. Yes, even that top pair top kicker hand! Theorem is based on analysis and conclusion, that all solid TAG players will raise the turn with better hands than one pair.

Baluga can still be applied to micro and low stakes, however, it won't work as well in mid-high stakes. These stakes include way deeper and more advanced thinking, so if you play these, just ignore it.

Stack-size/Pot-size ratio

This ratio represents an important part in your post-flop strategy. It doesn't only apply to the turn play, but the whole play after the flop has been dealt. However, the turn should be bolded, as this is where you decide about the size of the pot, you want to play. Keeping stack/pot ratio in mind will guarantee, that you'll have easier decisions on the river. It will also make your play more profitable. As an example, imagine a hand, where you don't take the ratio in account and bet the turn, only to have more, than a pot sized bet left on the river. If you would consider this ratio as one of the factors, you could of bet more on the turn and have a pot-sized or even smaller bet left on the river. This bet size is likely to get called far more often, thus making you more money!

The turn-card

While we have this listed as the last one, it isn't less important than others. When playing on the turn, you have to think about how the card, that just felt, changed the board. Did it filled any draw hands? Could you represent, that you have it? Is it in your range? All of these are legitimate questions, that SHOULD be asked in your head.