This is the oldest trick in the book but it
still works! Use this play when you have a
very good hand. What you are trying to do is
sucker your opponent in by checking, to make
them think that you have a poor hand,
hopefully they will then bet and you can
raise the bet. This raises the stakes and
will also mean that players with a low hand
but lots of outs, will actually fold rather
than stay in the hand waiting for the next
The aim of this play is to get all of your opponents to fold so you win the hand there and then, however you have the back up of knowing that you could still conceivably win the hand if they call you. When you have a hand which is probably not the best but you have lots of outs to potentially outdraw your opponent if they call or raise you, this is when to semi-bluff. E.g .You are in late position holding a suited connector and the flop gives you a flush draw with 9 outs. There are two other players in the pot and they all check to you. You bet without having the best hand but since they all checked, they indicated weakness and might fold pocket-pairs, a pair of 6's or 2's. Even if you do get called, you have 9 outs so still a big chance of winning the hand.
THE FREE CARD
When you are in late position and have a hand with lots of outs you can raise on the flop. As a result of this the other players will probably check to you on the turn, what this does is give you the opportunity to check (if your hand does not improve) or bet (if your cards appear). In the long run this will save you money if you do not improve and make you money if you hit. The only problem with this move is if you are re-raised on the flop. In these situations, it will cost you money but overall it is a play which is recommended.