The river is the last street in poker when the fifth and last card appears on the table. If there are several players left at this stage, they open the starting hands (relinking to showdown), and the dealer announces the winner.
Betting rounds in poker
In the most popular variations of poker, there are the following betting rounds:
- Pre-flop. It is the first stage of betting where players are dealt 2 cards each. Also, at this stage, 2 players make blind bets (blinds).
- Flop. It is the second stage of betting when three cards appear on the table and for the first time, the players have a chance to assess the strength of their hand.
- Turn. It is the third stage when four cards appear on the table.
- River. It is the final stage in which players open cards (relined to showdown) and the player with the best hand wins.
What is the best strategy to follow on the river?
So, first of all, a player should analyse the actions of all their competitors for all previous rounds to evaluate the chances of taking the pot.
The strategy of the river, as well as at other stages, depends heavily on the strength of the player’s hand. Let’s look at a few possible options.
- A player has a strong hand.
In this case, the main goal is to get as much money out of your opponents as possible. The most successful strategy would be a check-raise (linking).
- A player doesn’t have a strong hand.
In such a case, a player can always bluff with a weak hand and intimidate opponents. The main goal is to make opponents fold.