There are three main types of betting in poker: value betting, bluffing, and betting for protection. While bluffing is important and protection is a bi-product of understanding equity – knowing how to value bet in poker is an essential part of improving your winrate whether you play ABC poker or another style. In this guide, I want to discuss what a value bet is, why it’s so important, and some useful ways to improve your value betting strategy.
Many players get confused when facing “odd” actions, such as donk bets. So I wanted to analyze a spot where I faced a river donk bet and had to make a decision. A donk bet is a bet made into the previous street aggressor. Since I had bet the turn and he bets into me on the river, his river bet is called a “donk bet”.
In this hand the BB was an unknown player, so I have no info on him and subsequently he had no info on me. Here is the hand history: Continue reading
This hand is from 5NL, 6Max on PokerStars Zoom. Hero raises UTG, ends up getting a call and another call. They go three-way to it. Hero flops TPTK, c-bets, faces a raise, and here we are.
Everything leading up to this point looked totally fine, totally standard. At this point, we have a very important decision to make, and that decision is essentially, do we want to commit our stack or do we not want to commit our stack?
If we look at our options in this situation, we have three. We can fold, we can call, or we can come over the top and any raise is essentially a jam anyway.
This hand is from 5NL, 6Max on PokerStars Zoom. There’s a raise UTG. Hero decides to call, next act with pocket QQ. I want to talk about this, because this is a really important part of the hand that I think sometimes goes overlooked.
To start out, I want to talk about a situation where I like calling here. I like calling here if you have some really aggressive squeezers behind you. So, you can call, induce that squeeze, and then go forward from there. That’s a great situation.
In most other dynamics, I don’t love calling here, and there are a couple of reasons why. First and foremost, I don’t want to call and just allow other people to continue for cheap. I don’t want to just let other people continue with things like Ax, small pairs, suited connectors, and just get there, put me into uncomfortable situations and possibly unprofitable situations later down the line, when I could’ve otherwise charged them pre-flop, if they wanted to get involved with me.
Levuta says: “Is there any merit in check shoving this turn?”
Let’s check out the spot. This hand is from 2NL online, playing four-handed. There’s a limp from the CO, a raise from the Button, who is a 32/21 over 30 hands. Hero decides to 3Bet, which I’m very happy about. However, I think the size here is going to be the major problem.
Tony says: “I have an interesting hand with jacks versus a fishy villain in a tough spot where he over-bet jammed on the river.”
This hand is from 25NL on PokerStars. There’s a min raise from Jumper, and he is a 32/11 over 29 hands. It folds around to Hero, who decides to 3Bet, which is great. I love the fact that we’re 3Betting. Someone with a 32/11 stat, even over just 29 hands, is likely someone who is going to be on the fishier side of the spectrum. Big gap in the VPIP/PFR definitely denotes that they’re not going to be a strong opponent, and the fact that they’re just min raising from there doesn’t really lead me to believe that they’re going to be a great opponent, either. So because of that, I’m definitely in a value-bet mindset, totally going from there.
That being said, I love the fact that we’re 3Betting, but I don’t love the size. I think we’re going to leave a lot of money on the table. Also, if we just look at it conceptually, if we use this size, we’re giving him a great price to both obviously get involved with whatever cards he has, but also to take position on us. That’s something that I don’t want to do, I just don’t want to give someone a great price and say, “Hey, if you want to have all these advantages in your favor, go for it.” That’s just not something that I want to do.
Jan just wants a line check on this hand, so let’s check it out.
Okay, so this hand is from 10NL 6Max on PokerStars. There’s a raise. Hero decides to 3Bet with KQ, and I can totally be on board with this. There are a couple of situations where I’ll more heavily consider flatting. I may flat here if there’s a fish in the blinds and I thought that by flatting I would induce them to continue as well, so that way I can get that fish in there. Or, I may flat here if I think my post-flop edge against loveterry is super, super sick, and if I were to 3Bet, they’d just fold a ton of the time. So it would be more advantageous to make them go post-flop with me, beat them there, and win a lot more money, rather than just picking up their 3BB pre-flop.
Those are some situations where I would consider just flatting, but typically I’m going to be playing this very aggressively, and I’m okay definitely 3Betting here, for sure. I’m going heads up with them, go here. He decides to donk bet for $0.90, and Hero just decides to call.
Today’s question comes from King. He says: “Hello. I really liked your “Ask SplitSuit a Question” videos and got really interested in working off the tables. I liked your example with hand reading and writing down ranges, but could you give more examples of things we can study? Thanks!”
So, King, before we get started, good for you for taking the off-table stuff seriously, because this is the only way you’re going to become a top-level player, is by studying and taking that off-table time as seriously as possible, so good for you.
As far as other things that we can be studying, I’m going to give you the one big thing that I think most people could do, wouldn’t take too long and would start seeing results much, much quicker if they started implementing this into their off-table study.
Assuming that you already have the fundamentals down, you already know the poker math, you’re getting good with your hand reading, you have those fundamental poker concepts down, the next big thing you want to start doing is expanding your brain. Your poker brain is a muscle and it needs to be exercised and this training or thing you could do off the table is going to be huge for that.