There are six major reasons to raise. Make sure you know and understand all of them, and practice them. This exercise will improve your game by increasing your aggression, and help you better channel it. If you notice that there is one type of raising you do not do much, then you must practice this particular one, as all are needed in the armory of a good poker player.
- Raise because you have the best hand: so that you collect more chips. Power poker consists if betting your strong hands, not slow playing them, so raise with strong hands.
- Raise to limit the field: for example raise pre flop with AKs, as you do not want to get called by all the A-rag, who could outflop you; get rid of the weak hands who could outdraw you.
- Raise for a free card at the next street: by raising, you induce your opponent to check at the next street, so that you see that next card for free.
- Raise your strong draws: some strong draws such as an open ended straight flush draw have great odds and EV, and you must raise to monetize the strength of your hand.
- Raise as bluff: you should on occasion raise as a pure bluff; especially if you have a strong image, you may win pots this way with pure bluffs. Do this rarely in order to preserve your image.
- Raise with a semi-bluff: this one is more common than the pure bluff, raising with a semi-bluff such as a flush draw give you two ways to win the hand; either now or later with a bigger pot if you hit your draw after getting called; so unlike the pure bluff you may get the stronger hand in the end.
Raising is power poker, don’t be afraid to raise but do it strategically as described above. You will be feared a the table and your bankroll will improve.