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Knowing When to Chase

Play Poker » Poker Strategy » Knowing When to Chase

Knowing when to chase during an Internet poker game can let you win extra pots by finding the final community cards you need to complete a strong hand. Chasing is identified as a situation where you are looking for a draw to complete a potentially winning hand such as a flush or straight and must raise and re-raise in order to hit your draw. When chasing, you are hoping that the amount of raises you make will pay off when you get that key 4th or 5th community card to complete your prize hand. Because chasing requires you to consistently increase the pot value, it is very important to know exactly when to chase during a poker game.

Chasing Probability

Knowing when to chase in an online poker game is largely about the pot odds and probability. Being able to calculate the probability of hitting a certain draw such as a flush or straight will allow you to fold during unfavorable situations or raise when the odds of hitting the cards you need are favorable. For example, the probability of hitting a post-flop open ended straight is 5 to 1 while the probability of hitting a post-flop flush is 4 to 1.

Pot Odds

Understanding the pot odds during any given poker game situation is very important to knowing when to chase. Calculating pot odds requires practice during real poker game situations but you can also make a quick estimation to know whether or not you should continue to chase. Pot odds work hand in hand with the probability of hitting your draw. If you come up against an opponent that is making bets worth 40% or more of the pot value and you have a draw probability of 4 to 1 or worse, itís best to call off your chase and fold for the round.

Alternatively, you could find yourself in a situation where your opponents are only making nominal bets to simply stay in the game. In such a situation, you wonít have to spend extra chips just to match your opponentís excessive bets, which lets you chase your draw at least until the next betting round.

Knowing when to chase not only involves hand probability and pot odds but also requires you to rely on your own poker instinct. The right pot odds and hand probability may not be enough to win, particularly if you donít believe that the community cards will favor you or if you think an opponent has a deceptively strong hand that the rest of the table has not picked up on.

 

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