How to Play the River?

River is the card that comes after the turn. If the turn symbolizes home stretch, river finishes the line! The picture of your hand gets completely clear when the river is dealt. No other card will come to change your luck now! 

Now, you have to use the knowledge about your rivals, their previous bets, expressions, style, and other things to make a bet. It is the time to decide whether you can win it or not.  

Much of your hand was not a straight draw or flush if the river was important for you. Next time you will remember to tighten up on the previous street, but that’s the case for the next round. 

Suppose you think you have the best hand, you have to use it in the best possible way. If it’s not the winner, you have to assess others’ moves to ensure you can take away the pot. This guide will teach you how to play the river to minimize the loss and maximize your profit. 

The Maximum Value Bet:

The value bet term is an overly misused term. It is used to describe a small bet into a large pot. Its small size makes it quite valuable to persuade other players to call. However, players who use this bet lose their bucks in the long run. 

Suppose you place a value bet, you are trying to get most out of the hand. Suppose you bet $200 in a $1000 chip pot and believe you will be called up to 90% of the time. So, you will make $18000 in 100 hands. 

Let’s presume you bet $500 instead in a $1000 pot. The opponent won’t be able to guess whether you are bluffing or got a strong hand. Not many opponents will call you now. 

Suppose there are 60% times in 100 hands to get called, you are going to make $30000! In simple words, you can gain 12000 more chips just by increasing the bet size. Prefer value betting when it comes to playing river. Thus, you opportunities of taking the pot away increase!

What about Bluffing?

You can bluff and beat an opponent if you know his strengths, what he thinks about you, and his frailties. There will be moments when you understand that only bluffing can save you on the river. It will happen mostly when you miss a draw. 

Bluffing will work only if you can read the opponent. Understand whether he got a strong hand or a mediocre one, which he doesn’t trust. You want to make him fold if you got a poor hand. You would want him to get all in if you got the best hand on the table.  

Know who you can bluff easily:

Players, who think they know you perfectly, are the easiest to bluff. Just like you, the opponent is also observing all your moves. You have to make him believe that you can’t bluff on the end. Bluffing becomes easier as you spend more time with the player. 

There will be players, who have observed you. They have witnessed that you show down quality hands frequently whenever someone has called you on the river. They will wonder they are smarter than you. That will be the time to take advantage of their false assumptions. 

Let the opponent believe he is smarter:

It doesn’t mean you should lose more often. Just follow their assumption once in a while to hit when it matters the most. It’s a profitable move which you should practice daily. 

How to Lay Down Hands?

Smart laydowns are always profitable for a poker player. Some individuals can’t give up on good hands. Some players get too emotional with what they have invested in the pot. Therefore, they try to grab each pot they play. 

You have to be brutally honest to yourself to be profitable in poker. Whatever money is in the pot, it’s not yours anymore. Lay down a winner time and again to win big when the pot is too big. 

Do not expose your laydowns!

There is no need to endorse your hand to brag your poker skills. Laydown good hands and just forget about it. Let the opponent think you had a bad hand and he can beat you. Do not expose that you got everything it takes to grab all his chps!

Keep opponents confused:

Smart laydowns prevent you against highly observant opponents. They wonder whether you are playing to win each hand or just to win big. Lay your cards down when the pot amount is not too big. The opponent won’t be able to bluff you when you are really going for the kill. 


A poker player always assesses the risk to gain big rewards. A miscalculation can vanish the entire stack of chips. A greedy player can easily get bluffed when playing the river. Do not be that greedy player. Apply smart tactics to fool your opponents and win a big amount. 

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