Clarkmeister Theorem

The Clarkmeister theorem deals with specific poker situations, just like the Baluga theorem. It is very effective and easy to learn. This theorem should be used exclusively in Texas Holdem.

Clarkmeister theorem

“If you are heads up and first to act on the river, if the river card is the 4th card of a same suit you should bet”.

In situations like the one described above, most of the time you will not have a hand good enough to bet for value. Even if you hold the fifth card of the same suit, which makes you a flush, it will often give you a weak flush.

Just take a look at this example: the board is KT563 and your hole cards are A5. You have a flush. However, if you bet, what worse hand will call? Probably none, unless your opponent is a loose-passive fish. Therefore, you will be bluffing 95% of the time in such situations.

This theorem is not as reliable as the Zeebo theorem, because it may not work against loose-passive opponents and good players that are aware of the Clarkmeister theorem. So if you are against one of those players, you should not bet, unless your flush is good (i.e. your hole card gives you the best or second best flush).

You also should not consider bluffing when the board is paired. It makes possible that your opponent has a full house, which obviously he will never fold.

In any other case, i.e. when your opponent is neither a fish nor a very good thinking player and the board does not contain a pair, bet. Your bet size should be reasonably large – between 2/3 to full pot.

Exploiting players aware of the Clarkmeister theorem

As you move up in stakes, you will more frequently encounter players that, like you, are aware of the Clarkmeister theorem. You will see them betting when the 4th card of the same suit is dealt on the river.

You can exploit this by raising their bets, regardless the value of your hand. If they are good enough, after a few raises, they will learn not to bluff you in such situations.

If you are a microstakes player, chances are that no player knows about the Clarkmeister theorem. So when they bet on the river with 4 cards of the same suit on the board, just fold unless your hand is at least a good flush or better.

Clarkmeister theorem example

No Limit Texas Holdem game. $1/$2 blinds. 6 players, each with a $200 stack.

Your hole cards: 44

You raise under the gun to $7 and get called only by an average tight player on the button.

Flop: A92

The board texture is good for a continuation bet. You bet $12 into a $17 pot. Your opponent calls.

Turn: 5

With this turn card, your opponent is going call a lot of second barrels, so you just check. Your opponent checks behind.

River: J

The river brings the fourth diamond. You are first to act and your opponent is neither a fish nor a good player, so you make use of the Clarkmeister theorem and bet $35 into a $41 pot. Your opponent gets scared of the flush you are representing and folds.

More articles on poker theorems:

 Poker theorems overview
 Fundamental theorem of poker
 Baluga theorem
 Zeebo theorem

Go back to the Online Poker Strategy.