How do you play the turn? - Strategic turn gameplay.

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In Texas Hold'em or Omaha poker variations, the fourth community card is referred to as the Turn or the 4th Street. Numerous players encounter significant difficulties when facing the Turn. They find themselves uncertain about how to proceed, often getting trapped in seemingly hopeless situations. The Turn represents the most intricate stage in No-Limit Texas Hold'em, as it is where most beginners tend to make their costliest mistakes.

During the turn, the player remains uncertain about their position on the table. There are still possible draws on all sides, as one card is yet to be revealed. Moreover, at this point, the pot has often grown to a substantial size, making decisions potentially costly. Additionally, the expensive river card is usually still pending.

The most common mistake in poker is playing too passively during the turn. This occurs out of fear of committing to a potentially marginal hand and risking a large pot. As a result, players often give their opponents free cards, allowing them to draw cheaply or seize the pot through aggression.

The position as a guarantee of success

The player must approach the turn with confidence, making decisions based on their own judgment and prioritizing pot control when appropriate. It is crucial to consider another important factor at this point, which is not only decisive for the turn play but also applies to the position. When in position, one can exert greater control over the pot and provide increased protection. Having the last say is always advantageous. Conversely, when out of position, one is always dependent on the opponent's response. In this article, we will distinguish between our turn play in position (IP) and out of position (OOP). The player also has various options available both in position and out of position.

Out of Position (OOP)


A 2nd barrel refers to a bet on the turn, after being the preflop aggressor and making a continuation bet on the flop. By executing a 2nd barrel, one continues to narrate the tale of a strong hand. However, does the opponent believe this tale?

Playing with a strong hand allows you to make a bet/3-bet and even go all-in with normal stack sizes. Bluffing, on the other hand, relies solely on fold equity and requires a bet/fold strategy. If you plan on check/calling on a street, it is often better to take the initiative and make a bet yourself. This way, you gain additional fold equity and gain information about your opponent's hand when facing a raise. Moreover, you can extract value from weaker hands and draws.

In the realm of being in an unfavorable position, the ultimate move to make is the bet/fold strategy, as there are hardly any reasonable alternatives. Opting for a check/call approach leads to giving away free cards and not building the pot. It's worth noting that being out of position provides valuable information: if the opponent decides to raise, it often implies being behind since a raise carries more weight than a simple bet.

If you can't or don't want to play a second barrel, you have the following additional options: Please note that while I strive to provide accurate and helpful information, my responses may not always be perfect. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please let me know!


There is nothing in your possession. The opponent is unlikely to fold, thus eliminating any significant fold equity. It is advisable to relinquish the hand.


When facing a situation where there are no drawing possibilities on the board and you have an opponent who tends to bluff bet and occasionally bluff raise on the turn, employing the check/call strategy becomes an option. This move puts you in a "Way Ahead/Way Behind" scenario, where you either have a strong hand or are far behind your opponent. By choosing to check and then calling their bet, you keep the pot smaller and gain more information about their hand. This can be a prudent approach to navigate through such circumstances.


Using different words and sentence structures while maintaining the same theme, here is a new English paragraph for the website: Check/Raise can be an effective strategy, especially against highly aggressive opponents. By checking, you can indicate weakness if the opponent frequently bets on the turn. Employing the Check/Raise move allows you to extract value from your hand while protecting it. Moreover, by checking on the turn, you avoid being predictable and easier to read.

Summary of Out of Position

When you find yourself without position, it's always advisable to 2nd barrel all your draws. This strategy helps generate fold equity and allows you to maintain the initiative in the hand. It's generally better to fold if faced with a turn raise. This is especially true for all top pairs and overpairs, where you want to bet for value. Extracting as much as possible from weaker pairs is the goal here. However, a turn raise can present problems. Loose-passive players never bluff, so folding is the recommended course of action. Against aggressive players, considering a call and check/call on the river could be an option, especially on an extremely dry board. This approach is applicable only against opponents who frequently raise the turn as a bluff or semi-bluff. As a standard approach, on the turn, it's always better to bet and then fold if faced with aggression. Especially on lower limits, opponents often reveal their true strength on the turn. It's advisable to fold weak or medium made hands in the face of aggression on the turn.

In Position (IP)

Having the position in a game is advantageous as it allows one to have the upper hand. The opponents are forced to act first, giving the player with the position more control. The principles of the second barrel apply here as well, which can be used both in a position and out of position.

If the opponent chooses to bet, it will limit the options available. Bluff-raising is often costly, and it becomes challenging to gauge the fold equity. In the event of a call, one should play with the mindset of being either way ahead or way behind. Alternatively, one can opt to raise. The situation becomes slightly more complicated when the opponent checks.

When one has a well-made hand at the turn, they have two choices:

Place your wagers without any cost at the thrilling Showdown event.

The prevailing assumption here is that the opponent may call another bet on the turn with a weaker hand or a draw, but often checks the river again. Therefore, by checking behind on the river, one can reach the showdown without having to call another river bet. It's like securing a free showdown on the turn.

Investigate the area behind to determine if there is an attempt to deceive.

This is a common scenario where one often sees themselves in the lead, but lacks the belief that the opponent holds or can still obtain a draw. When dealing with a relatively strong hand on a precarious board, it is usually advisable to protect and therefore place a bet. Against aggressive opponents, options such as bet/fold and bet/call should be considered. The fundamental concept remains the same: place a bet!

In position summary

As the post-flop aggressor, it's crucial to always bet your strong draws on the turn because many opponents tend to call on the flop but fold their weak pairs or hands on the turn. Furthermore, the equity is often favorable, so you want to build a substantial pot for the river in case you hit your draw and can go all-in. On the turn, it's advisable to check behind with marginal hands and then either value bet or call on the river. Otherwise, opponents may perceive your check as a sign of weakness and easily call or bet against you. There is an exception for a flush draw on the flop. With top pair top kicker, it's wise to continue barreling on the turn. If the opponent continues to call, there's no reason to assume you're beaten. However, if the opponent raises your bet, it's better to fold.

Odds and implied odds when having your own draws

When facing a draw ourselves, it is crucial to pay attention to odds and implied odds on the turn. If we are faced with a significant bet, it usually requires calculating and making rough estimates. Calling a large bet with a draw can be challenging. The implied odds depend on our position. Being in position at the river makes it easier to extract value. We can raise for value. However, being out of position, checking risks the opponent checking behind, while a bet showcases our strong hand or the completed draw.


There are various ways to play a bluff on the turn. The bluff as a second barrel relies solely on fold equity. It is also possible to execute a bluffdonk. However, this requires having a good read on one's opponents and a suitable scare card on the turn. Bluff raises are often expensive and prone to variance. It is advisable to abstain from such actions.

Our focus lies on floats, a relatively affordable turn bluff. The strategy involves calling a bet on the flop, preferably in a favorable position. In many cases, the opponent is often the aggressor pre-flop and follows up with a continuation bet. When faced with a check on the turn after a continuation bet, it often indicates a hand surrender. Alternatively, there is also the possibility that we were the preflop aggressor and the opponent makes a donk bet. After calling on the flop, we hope for the opponent to check on the turn, allowing us to bet. This move often forces the opponent to fold a significant portion of their range.

If you have a draw, you still have a chance to win on the turn if you hit something. If you have many outs and think your opponent might check-raise, it's better to play a check-behind. Floating offers more fold equity and success compared to a direct raise. When you have a weak hand with no showdown value, the goal is to get a better hand to fold. If you believe you're ahead, you can consider a check-behind to induce a bluff. The turn card is a scare card for your opponent. If they could have hit that card well, it's advisable to refrain from bluffing. Many aggressive players are actually waiting for a check-raise on the turn.


On one hand, the turn play can become quite challenging, posing numerous difficulties. On the flip side, there exist a myriad of possibilities, offering a plethora of options to consider. It is imperative to persist with the flop plan, ensuring its continuation. Those who opt for a bluff must narrate it in a logical manner. Those who believe they are in the lead must safeguard their hand. For individuals who find themselves uncertain of their position and are in a favorable position, they must weigh the options of betting for a free showdown or checking behind to induce a bluff. Undoubtedly, the focus should always be on the river. What kind of situation are you maneuvering yourself into? After the turn, it should be crystal clear regarding your strategy for playing on the river.