For many individuals that like to play poker online, the turn is probably the most dangerous round of betting. With the flop already in the past, many hands that were looking to draw to make their hands have either made their hands or just halved the odds that they will make them. Probably more mistakes happen during play on the turn than any other round of betting because of the fact that it is the round of betting in limbo between the flop and the river. Having the ability to make good decisions on the turn is vital to your long-term success as a poker player.
There are really two positions that you can be in going into the turn and these are either playing to protect a winning hand or trying to draw into a winning hand. There are, occasionally, the very unfortunate positions where you think you have a winning hand but you are drawing dead or almost dead. For players who flopped strong hands and are looking to protect them, the turn can be an extremely worrisome event because they do not want to have a drawing hand hit their cards. If you find yourself in a full tilt position where you were in a strong position after the flop, it is usually good to either bet out or, if a scare card has shown itself, check as long as you are first to act. There is nothing wrong with checking to your opponent, especially if you have a good reason to believe that the scare card did not actually help their hand. Often, they will try to capitalize on this weakness by betting and a simple re-raise will often net you a very substantial pot. Otherwise, pushing them out of the hand so they do not have another card by betting will bring the pot to you, which is where it should be.
If you find yourself with a drawing hand at the poker table, things are a little different. During the flop, the odds were there for you to call but with only one more card to go, if you did not make your hand on the turn, chances are getting slim for you to pull out a win. What to do in this pkr situation often depends on how the other people in the hand have been playing and what you can get away with but it is usually a good idea to give it up in the face of any display of strength. In the end, calling and hoping the river will bring salvation will cost you many more chips than it will gain you. If you do make your hand, congratulations, you could make a good deal of money and it is time to do a bit of acting. If you are first to act, sit there for a little bit and pretend to ponder and then make a nice small bet that your opponents will be comfortable calling. If you are not first to act, smooth call a raise but take some time with calling or, if they do not raise, just put a little more money in to “sweeten the pot.”
Whatever your hand is at the USA poker room that you are on, the turn is where many hands are defined. Knowing what to do with your hand on the turn will result in great returns for your bankroll and improve your level of play as well.