Check Raising is considered a devious, deceitful play used in poker. Some consider it such a “dirty” play that they find it insulting and disrespectful when it is used. This is even true in some casinos. The thing that the people who do not like this play are forgetting is that deceit and trickery are what makes money when playing poker. The whole point of the game is to fool your opponents on what cards you are playing. If everyone that played at online poker sites knew what their opponents held, there would be no game. In fact, the game could be played face up if deception and trickery were not a part of poker. Check raising is an important weapon that each player should have in their arsenal. The key is to look for the right conditions on when to carry out this devilish play.
There are two conditions that ideally should be met before a check-raise should be used. Before looking for the conditions, the potential check-raiser expects that a worse hand will call his check-raise. First, the check-raiser must believe he has the best hand, but not good enough that a slowplay should be used. The second condition is that if the potential check-raiser, he is quite sure that a player behind him is going to bet. (Otherwise he obviously cannot check-raise)
Position must also be taken into consideration before check raising. For example, imagine there are three players in the pot. The first player checks. The second player believes the player last to act will bet if checked to. Thus, the middle Ultimatebet player checks with the intention of check raising. The third player bets like clockwork and the first player calls. Action rolls back to the middle player, who then puts in the raise portion of the check-raise. This is a sign of strength from the middle player. Typically, the check-raise will knock out one or all players in this hand.
This play also serves another hidden purpose, in that if the player who is third to act calls or even reraises the check-raise, you can put him on an absolute monster hand and fold your top pair without losing more money. Think of how much money the check-raiser could of lost if he just check-called the entire hand.
However, if the player who has top pair was first to act, he should instead just bet out with his top pair. This way, the player is getting money into the pot with what he thinks is the best hand, and is hiding the strength of his hand.
If the conditions are right, the check-raise can be one of the scariest and deceptive moves a poker player can use at the tables.