4 Awesome Poker Moves to Make When Playing Flop Games

By David Shatsky
December 30, 2012

Many poker articles and books give players lots of general advice. Here are 4 very specific moves and situations every poker player should have in their “arsenal”.

Poker Moves 1

1. The Fake Monster Bluff

This is a move to make when you are Under the Gun or UTG +1 (i.e., first to act). Start off just by limping/calling the big blind. Often, the pot will be raised by one of the other players (if not, you get to see a flop for cheap). If no one 3-bets the original raiser, here is where you make your move. Make a BIG re-raise back at the original raiser – you will be taken very seriously and most hands will fold.

The reasoning behind this move is simple: TONS of players will make this type of play with monster hands in early position. Therefore, your bet tells a very believable story and has a high chance of success!

*When NOT to make this move:

  • In shorthanded games
  • Against short stacks
  • Against very tight players (their original raise suggests a very strong hand that will not fold to a big 3-bet)
  • Against a player that has read this article 🙂

2. Who’s Afraid of the Dark?

Many times you might find yourself betting out with a drawing hand on the turn against a single opponent. If your opponent folds, great! But if he/she calls, immediately you start wondering if you should bluff if your draw doesn’t come. In the meantime, the river is dealt and your opponent is watching you debate your move. In other words, you may be giving away valuable info.

To prevent this from happening, bet out before the river comes (in the dark)! This will throw your opponent off guard and prevent you from accidentally giving off any tells; as you’ll have made your move already.

*When NOT to make this move:

  • If you’re very certain in advance that you’ll get called on the river no matter what

Poker Moves 23. The Counter Fitter Bluff

You’ve made a decision in advance to “go for it” and bluff to win this pot; no matter what. First of all, good luck!

To better “sell” your bluff, ask the dealer how much is in the pot and take a minute to “calculate” your bet (if you’re in a home game, just stack the chips in the pot to count it up…). This will get your opponent thinking that you’re trying to maximize your value, and thus be far more likely to put you on a strong hand.

*When NOT to make this move:

  • If you have a very bad table image and have been caught bluffing a lot recently

4. Check NUT Value on the Turn

“Aggression aggression aggression” may be the overall key to poker. However, if you find yourself with a nut drawing hand in early position on the turn, as tempting as it might be to fire at will you might want to try checking and letting someone else do the betting for you (you may even get some extra callers before it’s your turn to call the bet). The payoff here is in having multiple players still active in the hand if your nut draw hits. You’re more likely that at least one player (possibly more) will call off their stack to you on the river.

*When NOT to make this move:

  • If you are in late position and others have checked around to you, you SHOULD bet to build the pot
  • When shorthanded (there’s simply fewer players in the game to add to any sort of eventual payoff; go for the pot earlier in the hand).

*David Shatsky is a longtime member of the Cardplayer Lifestyle family. We’d like to thank him for this guest post.

Do you have positive or negative experiences making poker moves like these? Are there any other awesome poker moves you’d recommend people make to profit at the tables? Share your thoughts with us below.



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Written By.

David Shatsky

David Shatsky was introduced to live poker and online poker in the wake of the Moneymaker boom. He’s been grinding low stakes at the live and virtual felt for close to a decade.


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