Sometime players will not continue with the betting lead on the river, so you should consider min raising the turn in position with a hand that you think is best.
A lot of players, as the preflop raiser, like to slowplay a hand that they think is best on the turn if they are facing an opponent that has taken the betting lead. They figure that they will win more money by playing a hand this way waiting to get an extra bet on the river through a raise. The problem is that last bet in many cases does not come.
Let us take a look at a few examples. Say we raise in position to $35 in a $5-$10 game with A♥ K♥ and we get it headsup versus the big blind. The flop comes out J♣ 7♥ 5♥ giving us the nut flush draw. Unexpectedly the player in the big blind now leads out for $50. Let us say that most of the time this bet represents a jack that the player will not fold, so we decide to just call. The turn is the 2♥ giving us the nut flush. The blind now bets $100. Many many times players will just call in this spot with the nuts figuring that they do not want their opponent to fold so that they can raise the river. The problem is the bet rarely comes on the river. Say the player in the big blind has a hand like a weak queen and is protecting against what he thinks is AK. He will bet the flop and turn and check the river. You may get a single call on fifth street but what if we were to min raise the turn?
If we play the hand in the way it is described above we arrive at the river with a pot of $375. If it gets checked to us maybe we can bet $225 and win an $825 pot. However, if we raise the turn, even to just $225, then we arrive at a $625 river. Then maybe we can bet $350 and win a pot of $1325. The key here is to realize that a player who takes the betting lead from out of position into the preflop raiser in headsup pots often times will not continue with the lead on the river so just calling the turn accomplishes very little, especially if the opponent will call a small raise on the turn.
Let us take a look at another hand where we don’t have the nuts but we think we have the best hand. In this spot we raise to $35 with AQ in position. Again we get it headsup vs the big blind and we see a flop of Q52r. The blind leads out for $50 and we just call. The turn is an 8, completing the rainbow. The blind now bets $75. We think we almost always have the best hand and don’t want to lose him so we call again. The river pairs the 8 and the blind checks. With $325 in the pot we decide to bet $175 and we get called by QJ.
Can we make more money in this hand? Let us say as an alternative line instead of calling the turn he now raise it small to $160. The blind begrudgingly calls due to pot odds. Now, with the pot being $495, we bet $250 after being checked to in position. Instead of winning a pot of $675 we now win a pot of $995.
This concept may seem simple but we can add a lot of extra value to our hands in this manner, so long as we keep our raise size small. The ultimate point is that we cannot always depend on our opponents to continue the lead throughout the hand if they are betting us and we were the preflop raiser. A lot of your opponents are betting to protect and intend to shut it down at the end.