re: Poker & Dealing with check-raises
Against a tight player a check/raise represents a lot of strength and I'm mucking top pair in a heartbeat. Maybe even two pair, depending on the details.
If I'm against someone who I feel will always bet if I check, then I'll check/raise them light. So if you are against a smart/tricky player who thinks that you are going to bet light, then calling or betting back has merit.
But for the most part, plays mean what they appear to be, and a check/raise means "I am strong and wanted to get more of your money in."