Let’s get specific; what are poker moves? Making a move in poker means applying a specific tactic to a situation. If you hear someone talking about a poker move, they probably mean a non-standard action or strategy.
One of the most classic poker moves is the “check raise”. One player makes a check, appearing passive and defensive to their opponents. When one of them makes a bet, the player who checked makes a raise, forcing a tougher decision for their opponent.
Like many poker moves, this can be done as a bluff or to extract extra value. You might find success with these moves in certain spots, but there are never guarantees in poker. We’ll list the names and talk about potential situations they work best in.
A 3-bet happens when one player raises, then there is a second raise after. The re-raise is also called a 3-bet. If someone raises after a 3-bet, that’s known as the 4-bet, and so on.
A typical 3-bet size is at least double or three times the first raise, but everyone
Recreational players usually aren’t 3-betting enough and usually hesitate to 3-bet without premium hands like AA, KK, QQ, and JJ.
When should you 3-bet?
It’s always going to be easier for you to play postflop if you 3-bet in position. In most cases, you’ll be choosing to use this move for three different reasons.
Players can use the 3-bet to:
- Increase the size of the pot
- Make other opponents fold
- Isolate a specific opponent for heads-up play
For a closer look at what hands you should include in your 3-bet range, visit our short guide.
Make Moves Using Blockers
Blockers are immensely useful in poker. A blocker is a card in your hand that gives you information about your opponent’s hand.
The basic concept of blockers is simple. You have a specific card, which means your opponent can not have it.
Against Garret Adelstein, Art demonstrates how his blocker card (the ace of clubs) can be used to make a bluff.
When can you use blockers to make a move?
The most common way that players make moves with blockers happens with flushes. If you play online poker, you’ll often find yourself holding an ace that connects with suited community cards.
So let’s imagine there are three hearts on the board and you have the ace of hearts. It would be nice if you had two hearts, but at least you can guarantee your opponent does not have the “nut” flush (the best possible flush).
You can use this to your advantage. If your opponent bets on this board, you can raise using your blocker. The opponent can not have the best possible hand, which makes for a much more difficult decision.
The concept of blockers can be used for other hand combinations too, though it becomes more advanced because there’s less certainty.
Overbet as a Bluff or For Value
Any time there’s a bet that exceeds the size of the pot, that’s considered an overbet. In recent years, the overbet has become a more popular move for live and online poker players.
Overbets rapidly swell the size of the pot, which puts your opponent(s) to a huge decision. This shift in size can significantly affect your opponent’s comfort level with the hand.
Tom Dwan and Daniel Cates were among the big names that began adopting the overbet. It’s become more common, but it’s still considered an advanced and largely underused strategy.
When should you overbet?
Overbets can be exploited to increase the size of the pot or force your opponent to fold stronger hands.
You can overbet as a bluff in a few situations. If your opponent’s range is capped (meaning they don’t have a strong or nutted range) then an overbet can force them to fold.
If your perceived range (hands you can have) from previous actions appears to be extremely strong, this can be another opportunity to overbet as a bluff.
If you are looking for a place to practice your overbet strategy, why not enter a freeroll tournament? There is no entry fee, so the first few levels of the tournament will be volatile, but it will eventually play just like a regular tournament. There’s real money to win (or tournament tickets), but you don’t have to invest real money.
One of the best poker rooms for freerolls is 888poker. Most players can enter freerolls for $200+ prize pools or larger real-money tournament tickets. After playing on the site for enough time, players are rewarded with more than $10,000 in freerolls every month.
- Increased first deposit bonus
- Increased rakeback and reloads
- Help with deposits and cashouts
- Access to closed freerolls
- Round-the-clock support
Stealing the Blinds
The big and small blind positions are vulnerable and experienced players know the value of stealing them preflop. Since the big and small blind players will be out of position for the duration of the hand, they act first and have a positional disadvantage.
When should you steal the blinds?
If you find yourself in a late table position with little or no other preflop callers, here’s your chance to collect the blinds. Some players opt for a size around 3x the bb. Choose a bet size that will induce everyone to fold most of their preflop range. Keep your bet sizes standard so that your opponents will have less information.
Note: It’s important to be balanced and not try to over-steal the blinds with weak hole cards. If players notice that you are stealing too often, they’ll start to 3-bet you more often.
Are You Playing Poker on a Great Site?
These poker moves will be extremely effective if used correctly. If you already play online poker, is your site giving you rewards and benefits?
We’ve reviewed every major poker site, plus several smaller platforms. No matter where you live or what your skill level is, there’s a poker site that suits you.