Back to Articles

The apestyles guide: How to play the turn in poker tournaments

The apestyles guide: How to play the turn in poker tournaments

Playing the turn can get pretty tricky. Should you fire a second barrel? Should you check? Has the turn card helped you or hindered you?

In this article, we’re going to hand the keys to BBZ Poker coach and all-round online poker legend Jonathan “apestyles” Van Fleet and let him walk you through how to play the turn.


In his Back to Basics Webinar Bundle, apestyles provides a framework for how you should approach the turn, based on your hand in No Limit Hold’em tournaments.

When you’re in position and it’s checked to you, apestyles suggests that you:

  • Bet top pairs with good kickers and better
  • Bet your best and worst flush draws*

*Best = you have additional outs, worst = nine-high or lower

“It’s an arbitrary distinction but I think it works,” says apestyles. “The reason I’m recommending this strategy is actually because of how we’re going to handle check-raises. If we’re betting our best flush draws we’re not going to fold, and if we’re betting our worst flush draws we don’t really mind bet folding them.”

Apestyles also suggests that you should check back with:

  • Your remaining pairs
  • Middle-strength flush draws
  • Open-ended straight draws
  • Bottom pairs
  • Your trashiest trash

“What I mean by trashiest trash is basically undercards with no draw,” says apestyles. “Yeah, you can bet A7-off on a J86 two-tone board if you want, but you probably don’t want to bet 23 offsuit on a super coordinated draw-heavy board on the turn. Always check your worst trash then probably delay bet on the river.

“We often check open-ended straight draws but you should probably bet 35-50% of them. The problem is they are a bummer to get check-raised with. That’s why it’s fairly common to check open-ended straight draws with pioSOLVER.”

Product thumbnail

apestyles Bundle

A classroom webinar series teaching you winning MTT strategies



“Out of position, we need more equity to bet, so our betting range is less polarised,” says apestyles.

When we reach the turn out of position, we’re looking to:

  • Bet top pair, top kicker and better

“There are spots where you can bet small with middle pairs,” he says. “But for the most part we’re going to want to continue with that polarised range we started with on the flop.”

  • Check/call second pair and weaker top pairs

“This makes our check-calling range a little unbalanced, so of course we should include a couple of monsters and some draws.”

  • Bet almost every draw

“This sounds bad as it makes our check-call range terrible, but you can also check-call some ace-high draws and combo draws, anything that has a good chance of showing down, otherwise you don’t want to play a super passive line with a flush draw. A lot of their value comes with the additional fold equity so you’re able to semi-bluff with this kind of draw.”

  • Pure bluff on very favourable cards, mainly overcards to the board

“If the dreaded ace comes, we get to fire on that card, unless it’s a spot where they’re going to be calling in position with a lot of ace highs.”

  • Check-fold everything else

“You can sometimes treat a bottom pair like a bluff, but for the most part, check-fold your trash!”

There you have it. Bookmark this article and the next time you’re put in a tricky spot on the turn you can refer to it afterwards and see what the legendary apestyles would have suggested.

Product thumbnail
#1 seller!

Complete Charts & Trainer Package

  • Access to All Preflop Charts and Trainer Solutions
  • Chart View
  • Range View
  • Trainer
  • Cancel at any time!

Related Articles

Shopping cart

No products in the cart.

View cart