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Sports & Gaming


Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 07:08 min

Learn how adding the check-raise to your toolkit can open up bluffing opportunities, extract extra value, and keep you from getting run over when you’re out of position.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
Join Daniel at the poker table. Learn his strategies to advance your cash, tournament, and online play.


Check-raising is a deadly weapon, and it must be used occasionally. And a lot of benefits come from check-raising. Obviously, you know, you get value when you have a good hand. It allows you to bluff in certain situations. But most importantly, it stops the opponent who has position on you from just running over you, right? If you're a player who doesn't really ever check-raise, well, then your opponent can always feel free to bet the turn, you know, and know that there's no fear of you check-raising him off of his draw or anything along those lines. So what this will do for you is, if you start to check-raise occasionally and people know that you're capable of it, sometimes it'll get your free cards. Because people are afraid. Like, I don't really want to bet here because if I get check-raised, I don't know that I can call. So that will allow you to see some rivers that you may not otherwise. Ideally, the image you want to create is someone to be feared. You want to be feared in all situations. When you check, you don't want necessarily that to be a signal for everyone to say, well, I'm just going to run you over. There's too many players who play so straightforward that a check means exactly what you'd expect-- I don't have a very good hand. And a bet means-- I think I have a very good hand. You don't want to be that player. In some home games, especially when I started playing, check-raising? Hey, that's not legal. We didn't even allow it, right? It seemed like, hey, man, you checked. You don't get to raise. But it's actually a pretty important weapon for the player that is out of position. As we've, you know, established, obviously, being out of position forces you into being more defensive. Well, one of the weapons you can use is a check-raise. But you need to be really smart about how you're doing so because, if you're check-raising too often, you're making the pot bigger for an opponent who's going to be in position and call a lot, and you're going to put yourself in a lot more difficult situations. The other problem with check-raising is doing it in a balanced fashion. OK? So if you calls from the big blind a raise, and the button raise to 3x and you called, and the flop comes King 7, deuce, rainbow, you know, and you flop Kings and 7s. That's a really good hand. Yeah! You check, button bets, and you check-raise. Well, first of all, your opponent probably didn't have that much since you block, as we say. You have a King and a 7. So that's one less card that they could have to continue with. In addition to that, the question is is, are you going to only check-raise when you have good hands and then just check fold when you don't? What happens when you check call? So if you're check-raising too many of your good hands, it means that the hands you check in call with become weaker, as far as a range goes. So it's a very dangerous game to play. It certainly plays a role on flops, turns, and rivers. There's a lot of situati...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

The most important thing i feel I have learned is better understanding of nuance. DN provides a wealth of knowledge during this Master Class and I see myself watching many more times.

Learned about ranges. Looked at my play and realized I had tells. I need to bluff more. I learned the different strategies for tournament play at different parts of the tournament. I am a modest winning player over the past few years. I have new tools now. What a pleasant class to help me enjoy my hobby even more. Thanks guys!

An overall excellent masterclass. It could improve by including more game footage.

Absolutelly brilliant classes ! For not only those who play home games, but also who are thinking of a poker as a job and even life style !


Haysha S.

Why should I check-raise instead of just leading out? Especially if I'm bluffing, why bloat the pot with a re-raise?

A fellow student

If you become known as the player who when they check it's a bad hand and bet its a good hand, doesn't that make it very easy to change your strategy and bluff your opponents?


When videos finish, they only give you three seconds to cancel it from auto-playing the next video, which is super annoying. Give me at least 5 seconds. I'm tired of missing it by a split second and then it going to the next video before I have a chance to download the PDF and read the comments.

A fellow student

Wouldn't 10h9h be slightly the best hand to bluff with? You don't block AK, KQ or KJ, AA, QQ, JJ, but you block K10, and K9, 10,10, 9,9. While those are weaker value hands, you wouldn't be blocking possible bluffs they may have, like AJ, AQ, QJ. I do see why QJ is a good hand to bluff with, but I think 10,9 would be better since it doesn't block stronger bluffs, and the opponent may be c bet bluffing and have not made a hand.


These last to chapters have been harder to follow, I think ill have to rewatch them or read the material over again.

A fellow student

has anyone had problems D/L the work book at end of chapters i received this message at the end of the 3 betting chapter <Error> <Code>AccessDenied</Code> <Message>Request has expired</Message> <X-Amz-Expires>3600</X-Amz-Expires> <Expires>2019-05-10T08:54:18Z</Expires> <ServerTime>2019-05-10T08:58:25Z</ServerTime> <RequestId>C6A00C298BC99867</RequestId> <HostId> VDpSiMfRZqt50jLwzS6siq6eazsh+icrW1qiDfV7DNU4QI/mhBTVGLoWjmWUB7o5fimFYgU7v+0= </HostId> </Error>

A fellow student

I dislike how when you pause to look at the hand, the menu blocks the content.

Jacob P.

I was thinking about the last question. And guessing QhJh. My reasoning was the bluff might give me a free card on the river if an Ace comes on the turn. Which I would hope is a Ten for the straight. Is that practical?

Phillip K.

So you check raise the deuces because it is more likely the raiser has hit high pair of even two pair if he is the button or BB. And if he has hit it is less likely in his eyes that you have hit those cards so he is more likely to call.

Daniel C.

The concept of blockers is really interesting. But Im a little confused...with a set on the flop, Daniel says we would check raise on the flop, because our opponent is more likely to have opened up with something like KQ, AQ, etc, and hit top pair? Did I understand that correctly? Wouldnt it be better to check call and check raise on the river? I definitely understand why we would check call if we flopped top or top 2 on a dry board, though.