What is ‘Uphill’?
Uphill is a poker term used to describe when a player is behind and has to chase the game in order to win the pot; in other words, the odds are against them and they are fighting an uphill battle. An uphill situation will occur when a player has decided to stay in a hand despite being behind in the hope of hitting a card that will help them out on the turn or the river.
If they manage to hit one of their cards and go on to win the hand, they will have ‘outdrawn’ their opponent. In nearly all casino games, players will at some point find themselves playing uphill and will have to rely on their experience, along with some luck, if they are going to turn their uphill battle into a winning one.
Most experienced players will know when they are playing uphill. By simply looking at their pocket cards and the community cards, they will know the probability involved and how likely it is that one of their opponents is in a better position. If they think they are in an uphill situation, they may adopt a more aggressive approach in order to give the illusion that they have a better hand than they do. By playing more aggressively, they are exposing themselves to more risk, but they are staying in the hand in order to chase a better card on either the turn or the river.
Players will often play uphill and chase a hand if they have a chance of making a big hand such as a flush. This can cause players to call and bet big in the hope that the card they are looking for will appear as one of the final community cards. In nearly all instances though, this approach doesn’t work and the player ends up losing a significant amount of chips. In order to chase effectively, a player should know the odds. This will help them make a determination on whether it is worth staying in the hand or if it’s better to concede defeat by folding.