What is River?

River → 1.  River refers to the fith community card dealt in Hold’em and Omaha variants of poker.

Example usage → “The river card improves us to the straight”

River → 2.  River is the third betting round in Hold’em and Omaha variants of poker. (I.e it can refer to the street as well as the community card itself).

Example usage → “We decided to check back the turn and make some moves on the river"


The term “river” refers to the fith community card that is dealt as well as being the name assigned to the fourth round of betting in Hold’em and Omaha variants (the third betting round being referred to as the “turn”).

Strategy Application 

Seeing as the river is the final street before reaching “showdown”, correct river strategy is fundamentally different from our approach to the flop and turn. While on the earlier streets we constructed our strategy around continuing with hands that have the best improvement potential, we should now look to do the following on the river:

1. Use our absolute weakest holdings as river bluffs.
2. Use our strongest holdings as value-bets.
3. Check hands with mid-strength showdown-value in the hope of reaching showdown.

The idea of betting our absolute best and our absolute worst holdings is referred to as “polarization” in poker.

See Also 

Value Bet, Showdown, Flop, Turn, Bluff, Preflop, Hold’em, Omaha, Equity

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