Fourth street concepts
Fourth street strategy concepts
This is only my opinion of course, but from my readings I would say that check - calling is one of the most ineffective strategy plays you can use, because it allows opponents both to bluff you off hands as you are presenting weakness. However, with a slight alteration to your strategy the chips could be coming your way easily instead. Players are also being too predictable all the time if they check-call in o often and too much and while it suggests you are holding a weak hand/possibly drawing to a straight or flush or bottom pair, players are far too transparent in their play. Even when strong, the temptation to check call and slow play is great for many, so as not to chase out opponents, but what happens is that when you have a winning hand, the pots are regularly small. So players like this are basically losing money in the long term with such play.
So in this post, we will look at Sklansky & Malmuth's fourth street concepts straight from their excellent book Hold'em for Advanced Players. In this chapter, the two writers talk fourth street strategy that provides both balance and unpredictability to the advanced poker player's play. It is excellent stuff really!
I have highlighed (and recited word for word) the key advice given for your perusal. I will stress however that it is summarised and there are some other words of advice that go side by side the two concepts, such as ways to vary the play or changing the play depending who you are up against.
Overall, as the writers regularly suggest, you must have a good understanding of who you are up against to apply these strategies effectively.
There are 2 important concepts that will aid you when playing on fourth street.
Concept 1. You should tend to check hands with outs and to bet hands that, if already beaten, have no outs.
For example, say you have AA
'a third suited card comes on fourth street and neither of your aces is of that suit. Against a typical opponent, the correct play is to bet and then fold if you are raised.'
Notice that if your opponent does not have a flush, you are not giving him a free card that might beat you. However, if he has a flush, you probably will be raised, and you can usually safely throw away your hand.
'The reason you throw your hand away for a raise is that when you bet, the third suited card on the board will look just as scary to your opponent as it does to you.' (Page 139). 'So it is unlikely for you to be raised (by a typical player) unless you are now against a completed hand.' This play takes you out of a guessing game. Had you checked, you might have enticed your opponent to bluff, but it would cost you two bets to keep him honest.
Concept 2. The second concept is that you should be betting good hands on the flop, but then frequently check-raising with them on the turn. (Page 141)
In fact, this should be routine strategy since you will be giving up many hands on fourth street. That is, you won't follow through on most of your semi-bluffs and/or weak hands that you routinely bet on the flop. Therefore to avoid giving away your hand away, you must also check a lot of hands.
Specifically, when first to act, you probably should check on fourth street as much as 60 percent of the time with your good and bad hands alike, as long as free cards are not a major problem and your opponents are aggressive.
According to Sklansky & Malmuth, 'What you are doing is balancing your strategy' 'because you are such a threat to check raise, more observant opponents will be afraid to bet on the turn after you have checked, thus giving away a free card. Meanwhile, less observant opponents will be frequently check raised when you have checked a good hand.'
For example, say you hold; A ♠️ K ♣️
And the flop is A 💎 9 ♠️ 2 ♣️
'You have bet on the flop, been called, and have every reason to believe that you have the best hand. If a blank hits fourth street, which means it is likely that you have the best hand, you frequently should check and be prepared to check-raise if someone bets.' (fourth street concepts Sklansky & Malmuth).
Thank you for reading. For the full information - download the book; it's free! Good luck at the tables!