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Checking With A Chip

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I’m taking a little mini-vacation this week, so I don’t have a full-length post for you today. But I figured I’d toss out a quick little concept that Dusty Schmidt (Leatherass) mentioned recently in a Stoxpoker video. I don’t remember what he called it, but I call the play checking with a chip.

The idea is simple. In no-limit when the pot is medium or fairly big, you’re out of position, and you would normally check, sometimes you’re better off betting a tiny amount (usually the minimum bet) rather than checking. As long as the pot is fairly large compared to the size of the bet, the extra risk is negligible, but you can benefit in a few ways:

  1. Your opponent could decide to fold to the minimum bet. If, say, you have a busted draw, but your opponent has a slightly bigger busted draw, getting him to fold for a minimum bet is a huge win.
  2. Your opponent could decide to flat call with a hand he would have bet for value if you had checked. In this case, your minimum bet acts as a blocking bet.
  3. Your opponent could decide your minimum bet shows weakness and bluff-raise. Against some players a tiny bet will elicit a bluff more often than a check will. If you want your opponent to bluff, then a minimum bet might be your ticket.

It’s a bit of a cheap ploy, since the benefits mainly rely on your opponent responding poorly to your minimum bet. But in practice, people will respond poorly to the bet, and if you can win an extra $40 pot sometimes or induce an extra $30 bluff or block a $20 value bet with just a $1 bet at risk, it’s a big win.

It came to mind today because bobboufl11 posted a hand where he used the play effectively to induce a river bluff-raise with his second pair. In the original hand in the video where Leatherass first mentioned the play, he bet $2 with a weak hand into a big pot (more than $50 I think) and his opponent folded.

Try it out. And check out all the videos by Dusty Schmidt. He’s a smart dude.

One Response to “Checking With A Chip”

@ Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:55:30 AM

It’s actually similar to the “weak lead” you mention in PNLH V.1 near the end. I feel the play is much more profitable in online poker, because
a) the chance that your opponent will fold is bigger, or at least it’s >0%
b) you can really get people to fold to the minimum bet.

Most people I played with will keep you honest for a minimum bet on the river in live poker; even with nothing.

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