Friday, June 20, 2008

Kinds of bets

I can think of seven types of bets.

Most bets fall under the broad category of value bets or bluffs. In general, you want to either be betting because you have the best hand and you think a worse hand will call, or you think a bet might get a better hand to fold. Some players believe every bet they make should either be for value or a bluff.

Semibluffs fall somewhere between the two. Semibluffing hands have some equity, but they may not be the best hand at the time.

Blocking bets fall under the category of value bets. Players make blocking bets when they want to see a showdown for cheap. They're appropriate especially when you think you have enough equity in the pot to get to showdown, but you don't want to pay off an opponent's expected larger river bet, and you think your opponent won't raise, and you have the discipline to fold on the end when you think you're beat.

Suckbets are blocking bets' evil twin. They're smallish bets on the river meant to look like blocking or weak value bets. A suckbet wants its opponent to raise so then you can call in a larger pot or come over the top.

With information/probe bets, we're starting to get into murky waters. Information bets aren't necessarily value bets or bluffs, and they often return incorrect information. I'm not even certain bets for information have a place in a a solid player's arsenal.

Finally, there are bets to protect your hand. I don't know what to make of these kinds of bets, but I use them all the time.

I usually use them when I'm out of position with a hand like middle pair or a weak top pair. If I were playing my hand purely for value, shouldn't I cold call because my one pair figures to be best against a standard button's steal range, and a raise would only get him to fold worse hands? Or should I donkbet or check-raise the flop, hoping that my opponent will fold or call with a worse hand? If I'm hoping my opponent will fold, then I've essentially turned my hand into a bluff because it no longer has much showdown value in what's getting to be a mid- to large-sized pot. If I'm hoping my opponent calls, I'll probably find myself in a tough situation when my opponent bets, raises or calls on the turn or river. If my opponent calls my flop check-raise and I have a weak pair, usually the best outcome is that my opponent will check it down, but that's fairly unlikely to happen.

It seems like most times when I check-call the flop out of position, I either win a small pot or lose a medium-sized one. I lean more toward betting out or check-raising with these kinds of hands, although I'm not sure how right that is.


Fuel55 said...

Where do overbets for value fit in?

Gnome said...

Overbets for value are value bets. They are agitating for independence, but the mayor of Value Town is resisting.

Shrike said...

Comedy gold!

You can take away our lives ... but you can never take ... our freedom!