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Necessary Conditions for Check-Raising

Two conditions are needed to check-raise for value - that is, when you expect you might be called by a worse hand. First, you must think you have the best hand, but not such a great hand that a slow play would be proper. Second, you must be quite sure someone behind you will bet if you check. Let's say on fourth street in seven-card stud someone bets with showing, and with you're getting sufficient pot odds to call. Now on fifth street you catch a king to make kings up. Here you might check-raise if you are pretty sure the player representing queens will bet.

This second condition - namely, that someone behind you will bet after you check - is very important. When you plan to check-raise, you should always keep in mind that you could be making a serious, double-edged mistake if you check and no one bets behind you. You are giving a free card to opponents who would have folded your bet, and in addition you are losing a bet from those who would have called. So you had better be very sure the check-raise will work before you try it.

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