Texas Holdem River Quiz

Texas Holdem River Quiz

Plenty of articles and books cover how to pick the best games, how to choose starting hands, and how to figure out pot odds, but quality advice about playing Texas holdem after the flop is lacking. On this page we cover a variety of situations on the river in Texas holdem games.

The page is designed as a group of quiz questions grouped together followed by the answers grouped together on the second half of the page. We encourage you to attempt to answer all of the questions before reading the answers to see how you do.

While it may seem like a quiz wouldn't be the first choice for advice about Texas holdem river play, the way the answers are presented helps you learn how to improve the thought process behind the decisions. Being told the best answer can be helpful in many situations, but if you learn how to come up with the right answer yourself it often helps you learn a great deal more.

Quiz Questions

Quiz Question 1

You're playing in a limit Texas holdem cash game, flopped a straight, and have been betting and being called by a single opponent. The river made a flush possible and you know nothing about your opponent. You're first to act. What do you do?

  • Bet
  • Check
Quiz Question 2

You're in the same situation as quiz question 1 except the game is no limit Texas holdem. You're relatively short stacked. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 3

You're in the same situation as quiz question 2 except you and your opponent both have deep stacks. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Make a double the normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 4

You're in the same situation as quiz question 1 except you know your opponent well. She's one of the best Texas holdem players you know and is a consistent winner. She rarely makes big mistakes. What do you do?

  • Bet
  • Check
Quiz Question 5

You're in the same situation as quiz question 2 except your opponent is the same one in quiz question 4, a good player. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 6

You're in the same situation as quiz question 3 except your opponent is the same one in quiz question 4, a good player. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Make a double the normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 7

You're in the same situation as quiz question 1 except you know your opponent well. She's one of the worst Texas holdem players you know and is a consistent losing player. She always makes big mistakes. What do you do?

  • Bet
  • Check
Quiz Question 8

You're in the same situation as quiz question 2 except your opponent is the same one in quiz question 7, not a good player. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 9

You're in the same situation as quiz question 3 except your opponent is the same one in quiz question 7, not a good player. What do you do?

  • Check
  • Make a normal size bet
  • Make a double the normal size bet
  • Move all in
Quiz Question 10

In a no limit Texas holdem cash game you have a straight and the board just paired. You've been the aggressor throughout the hand and your opponent just raised all in after you made a standard size bet. Your opponent is an excellent player and is capable of making advanced plays of any kind. The pot has $1,500 in it and you have to call $300. What do you do?

  • Fold
  • Call

Quiz Answers

Quiz Answer 1

It's always a bit scary when a flush card hits on the river and you don't have a flush, but it doesn't always mean your opponent has hit a flush.

In a limit Texas holdem game in this situation you need to bet.

The worst thing that can happen is your opponent raises. Because this is only a single bet in a limit game you have to call if they raise because of the pot odds. Most of the times when your opponent raises at the end it means they hit their hand, but at this point in the hand the pot is large enough in comparison to the bet you must call that it's profitable to call in the long run.

Many times your opponent will fold to your river bet or call with a weaker hand. Top pair and two pair hands will often pay you off in this situation, more than making up for the few time you lose. When you have a straight it's often hard for an opponent to put you on the hand, so they often assume you have a pair or other made but weak hand.

The nice thing about limit Texas holdem is it limits the amount you must risk in tough situations like this. The key to profitable play in Texas holdem on the river is the same as in every other area of the game. You need to learn how to determine if a situation has a positive expectation or negative expectation and act accordingly.

As you'll learn in some of the following quiz questions, making positive expectation decisions can get trickier in no limit play. But the decision making process is the same. Determine the chances of different outcomes and compare them to the amount you can win and the amount you must invest.

In limit Texas holdem when you reach the river against a single opponent it's almost never the right decision to fold to a single bet. The positive expectation calculation almost always requires a call in this situation.

Quiz Answer 2

In no limit Texas holdem you have to be a bit more concerned about losing to a flush because you can lose a much larger amount of money in comparison to your stack size than you can in limit play. But you still have to play a strong hand like a straight in all but the most dangerous of situations.

In this situation you're relatively safe because of your short stack. Even if you have to get all in, the odds are, in the long run you'll win often enough to make it profitable because of the limited exposure the short stack creates.

The best play is to make a normal size raise.

If you move all in it can keep some weaker hands from calling, in turn costing you money.

If your opponent moves all in you're probably beat, but once again because of the short stack you need to call. If you have a deeper stack you might need to make a different decision, as you'll see in the next quiz.

Quiz Answer 3

In order to maximize your wins in the long run while playing no limit Texas holdem you have to play your best hands in a way that lets you win as much as possible. A straight is a strong hand and you need to play it like it's going to win until it's clear that you aren't going to win.

This doesn't change just because you and your opponent both have deep stacks. You need to make a bet on the river in this situation assuming you're winning the hand.

This means you need to make a standard size raise.

A standard raise will often get called by one pair, two pair, and three of a kind hands. If you bet too much some of these hands will fold.

The problem is when you raise and your opponent suddenly makes a raise. If it's a reasonable size raise you need to call based on the pot odds most of the time. But if your opponent makes a large raise and / or moves all in for a large amount it can destroy the pot odds.

This is where knowing more about your opponent is helpful. In this situation you don't know anything about your opponent so you have to make an educated guess.

You know how much is in the pot and you know how much you have to call. Compare this ratio against how often you think you'll win the hand when you call to make the best play you can.

Example

The pot has $1,000 in it and your opponent moves all in for another $500. So if you call it costs you $500 and when you win you get back your $500 and $1,500 more. This means to break even you have to win one out of every four times. In other words you need to win 25% of the time to break even, and more to be profitable.

To play the situation four times it costs a total of $2,000, and when you win you get back $2,000. This is how you know you have to win one out of four times, or 25% of the time, to break even.

Will you win one out of four times in this situation? Is there a chance your opponent is bluffing at least 25% of the time?

The other thing to keep in mind is if your opponent has a set they may play the hand the same way, thinking they have the best hand because they don't think you have the straight.

In this situation it's close, but because you don't know your opponent a call is probably the best play. But if the pot odds are much worse it quickly becomes a folding situation.

Quiz Answer 4

The fact that your opponent is a good player is somewhat muted by the limited exposure you have of only being at risk of losing a single additional bet if they raise.

You need to bet and call if you get raised.

Just like some of the situations discussed earlier, even a good opponent will call with a weaker hand sometimes because the pot odds are good enough to warrant a call, and a good opponent will even raise every once in a while on the river with a weaker hand.

The few times your opponent hits a flush you'll simply have to pay them off.

Quiz Answer 5

This becomes slightly trickier, but your short stack sizes protect you much lie in limit play.

The best play is to make a normal sized raise and put the pressure on your opponent.

If she hits the flush she's going to move all in, but she'll also make the same play sometimes with a hand you can beat.

Just like in limit Texas holdem, the best play is to make a standard raise and call if you get raised.

Quiz Answer 6

This is one of the most difficult situations you'll ever be in while playing Texas holdem. This illustrates why position is so important. You have to act first so you have to either bet or check.

When you check it gives your opponent an opportunity to make a play for the pot because you're showing weakness, but if you bet it gives your opponent an opportunity to extract as much money as possible out of you when they hit the flush, or make a large move on the pot representing the flush.

The best players can sense weakness and they know how to apply the exact amount of pressure to make your decision difficult.

Once you consider everything, the best play is to make a standard size bet.

This can create a tricky situation, but it's still the best play.

When you bet three things can happen. When your opponent folds or calls you don't have to make an additional decision, so they're easy. But when they raise you need to make an important decision.

It's easy to jump to the conclusion that you should fold if they raise because they're a good player, but the opposite is actually true.

A good player is good enough to make a raise in this situation if they determine they have a good chance of getting you to fold, even if they have a weaker hand.

Against the best Texas holdem players the smaller the raise the more dangerous the hand becomes. When a good player has a winning hand they start planning on how to get as much out of the hand without making their opponent fold. A small raise usually is designed to get a call. A small raise also is small enough that the pot odds require a call.

On the other hand, if your opponent is good enough to recognize that you're a strong player the may make an oversized bet that looks like a bluff when they have a flush to get you to call.

If your head is spinning, it's because when you play out of position against a good player it's easy to get taken advantage of. This is a perfect example of why you do your best to avoid this situation by not playing out of position.

If you find yourself in this situation and face a raise all you can do is look at the pot odds and try to guess your chances of winning the hand. You'll find that you usually have to call the raise but being profitable is tricky.

Quiz Answer 7

As we discussed in answers 1 and 4,

The best play in this situation is to bet.

It doesn't matter if your opponent is good or bad; the most profitable play is to bet. If your opponent raises simply call. In the long run you're going to show a profit.

Quiz Answer 8

Making a normal size bet is the best play in this situation and calling a raise of all in are the most profitable ways to play this hand against a poor opponent. You'll find that a poor opponent will be more likely to raise in this situation with a weaker hand, so this adds more to your overall profit. Of course they also chase more flushes than other players so they'll hit the flush and take your money sometimes to.

Quiz Answer 9

Against a weak opponent the best play is the same as against an unknown opponent.

You need to make a standard size raise and see what your opponent does.

When they fold or call you're in good shape. If they make a reasonable raise you need to call because of the pot odds, but when they move all in it almost always means they've hit their flush.

But you still need to try to determine your pot odds and your chances of winning. Poor players are often unpredictable so it's hard to accurately guess what they have.

This is another example of how playing out of position can cost you money. Even a poor player can use position to their advantage, even if they don't understand why it helps them.

Quiz Answer 10

The only hands that can beat a straight helped by the board pairing are four of a kind and a full house. This is such a small range of hands and the pot is offering five times what you have to call.

A call is the proper play in this situation.

But just as important as what can beat you is what other hands an opponent might have with the board pairing where they'd make this play. They might have hit three of a kind or two pair, but they also might have missed everything and are trying to steal the pot at the end with a bluff.

You'll make this call and lose occasionally, but you may be surprised at how often you win the hand. In comparison to the pot odds you'll win more often than you need to do so to break even.

Conclusion

It's important to learn how to play well on the river if you want to be a winning Texas holdem player. While most of the quiz questions and answers on this page are similar, they illustrate how you must view all of your decisions on the river.

By learning how to think through each river hand listed above you can use the same process to find the best play in most situations. Use all of the information you can, including the ability of your opponent, how the hand has played out, and the stack sizes, to make the best decision. The more you practice and think about these river situations the better your long term results will be.

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