Check raising is the process, in poker, of checking on a betting round, waiting for other people to bet, then raising them on your next opportunity. You generally should do this when you are slowplaying, or representing a worse hand than what you are really holding -- this is the opposite of bluffing. The goal is to get the other players in for money (fattening the pot). The reason you'd do this is to force them to bet more strongly than they would if you had bet or raised. Of course, you lose the protection you might get if you had bet or raised initially, with your strong hand.

There are two schools of thought on check raising. Some people who play poker (preferably hold-em) for fun don't like the idea of check raising because it's an aggressive play and lures people into putting more money into the pot. Other people view it as a completely valid move and something that adds to the fun of poker.

It is also termed 'sandbagging'. Check-raising is sometimes banned from poker tables (particularly home games), because it erodes the balance of deceptive signals and legitimate signals in poker, which contributes to play for a longer period of time.

Check raising is part of the game. It's absurd to suggest that some form of betting is unethical or impolite when the object of the game is to win as many chips as possible. Check raising is often a dubious idea anyway...more often than not an attempted check raise ends up with checks all the way around.

But for the brave out there--there's an extremely aggressive strategy that does work if you can pull it off demeanor-wise. It's the check-raise bluff on the River. Say a third spade comes up and you're in an early position. You check. Everyone checks around to the guy who's been betting the whole way with trips or table-high two pair. He saw the third spade, was definitely nervous (like we all would be) that a flush would beat him, and is now breathing a sigh of relief. He goes ahead and bets feeling confident. Then you check-raise him. He knows. He thinks he knows. He's devastated (well you should choose your victim wisely). He throws it away. The check raise is dreaded--it means "you're screwed." Keep in mind that your raise is likely to equal about 1/7 of the pot. If you can pull this off 1 in 6 times you're a long-term winner. And even if you get caught, people will now think you're a bluffer and will be more apt to call your nut hands.

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