Increase Your Chances of Winning with the Best Line in Poker

The poker line is a very important strategic tool that can be used to increase your chances of winning. In this guide, we will teach you when to make a bet, raise, or fold based on the position of the player at the table.

Choosing the correct line in poker is the shortest way to profit

When we say we are making the best decisions possible, we mean that we are choosing the most profitable action or series of actions to take. This is called choosing a “line”.

There are two parts of a line in poker: (1) The line intention, which is what we want in the current situation. For example, building a pot for value or forcing everyone to fold. (2) The action itself. For example, checking, betting, call-raising, or bet-folding.

Poker players often confuse these two aspects of a line and use them interchangeably when talking about hands. They can refer to the line poker by either the intention or the action. Do not confuse these two concepts. Line intention and line actions are two sides of one coin.

Let’s say, for example, that we have a strong hand. We believe our hand is stronger than our opponent’s range, but we also believe our opponent’s cards to be moderately strong and unlikely for them to fold if they are bet into. In this situation, we might decide to lead with large pot-size wagers on all three streets after the flop.

We expect to be called by our opponent on our way toward a showdown. This will create a large pot that we can often win if it reaches the river. We call this a “value” line. Our line intention to extract money from the less wealthy holdings of the villain is our line action sequence. We plan to lead out with large street bets.

Let’s say, however, that we have a weak hand on the flop. Our opponent is stronger than our hand, but we believe it’s weaker. For example, top pair with weak kickers.

We believe that our opponents view us as a straightforward player whose bets often indicate the strength of our hand. These assumptions lead us to believe that we can make our opponent fold if they bet strongly on the turn and flop.

If the villain does not fold by the time that we reach the river, we will give up and fold. Our line is a “bluff,” we want to “get better hands and fold, but give up if the villain refuses to cooperate,” and our planned line action sequence for line action is: “Bet 3/4 pot, bet 3/4 pot, check-fold.”

These are just examples and may not be the best action sequence. The individual situation will determine the most profitable sequence.

line in poker

Types of lines in poker

A player can choose from a variety of lines, as well as associated actions and intentions when playing a hand. Here are some of the most popular lines in poker.

line in poker

Value line. If a player’s line reads “value,” it means that he believes he can extract money out of opponents with weaker hands than his. He believes that a bet will be called by an opponent with a worse hand than his.

His line action in this hand could be to simply bet on all streets or to check-raise and lead turn the flop before he shoves the river. Value bet lines are the best way to make money in small-stakes games against your usual opponents.

Showdown value line. An SDV line intention is one where the player feels that his hand is moderately strong enough to be worth going to a showdown with an opponent but not strong enough to make him commit a significant portion of his stack. His line action might be to raise on a flop to slow down and give time to opponent checks, then check-call the river.

Blocking bets on later streets can also be used in SDV situations to control how big the pot is and prevent other players from blowing it off with large, unaffordable wagers.

Bluff line. A bluff line is a technique used by poker players in an attempt to make their opponents fold with hands that are weaker than their own. Bluff lines require aggressive betting and raising, but there are many different ways to execute them, such as making one-and-done bets on the flop or betting multiple streets to check-raise on the flop or turn.

To be most effective, bluff lines need to be built around a strong hero image, a convincing range of hands, and an appropriate bet size.

Draw line. A traditional drawing line is one where a player has an unmade hand but is trying to improve it to make a strong winning hand at showdown. You can take a variety of actions to accomplish this, including passive check-calling and aggressive semi-bluffing.

Most opponents draw passively at low stakes. They check and call on earlier streets and then fold if they miss their draws. Bettors can also raise if they win.

Higher stakes players will often semi-bluff their draws by calling on several streets of action.

Probe line. A probe line is used to extract information from an opponent. A probe bet is used to determine the relative strength of a card by forcing an opponent into action.

Isolation line. An isolation line’s purpose is to play a post-flop battle against a weaker opponent while getting heads up. Players often isolate themselves when their hand strength is moderately high but they are vulnerable in multi-way poker.

They will often perform isolation regardless of their cards at higher stakes. In other words, the hero believes that he can outplay his opponent if he can win heads-up against them.

An isolation line usually raises over the top of a weak player pre-flop, adding pressure for other players to fold and not join the hand.

Fold line. This line’s purpose is clear: you don’t have enough pot-or fold-equity to continue playing for profit. The action sequence is also trivial: you either check and/or fold.


Making good decisions is essential in poker. However, many players lack the understanding of what constitutes a good decision, let alone the ability to make them. Too often, they are beaten by their poor line in poker.