January 25, 2010
I just wrote a long comment for a DC member blog, but it didnâ€™t format correctly, so Iâ€™m putting it up here. You can find the original post on icehockeyplyrâ€™s blog.
I would like to preface this comment with the statement that this is obviously VERY level 1 thinking, but in vacuum versus an unknown player it will suffice for most beginning players.
One trick vs. â€œflopshoversâ€ I find useful â€“ especially on drier boards, is to work out how many legitimate hands they can have in their value shoving range. If you can count 12 combos that beat you then it is usually never a big mistake to fold and wait for a better spot when you have a medium strength hand.
There are some simple generalisations to this:
You will almost always be bet/folding TPTK and worse on a Q-high or lower flop. For example, 99 on 652r is a bet/fold. AJ on J76r is a bet/fold. KQ on QT7 is a bet/fold; however, KQ on Q44 is probably closer to a bet/call (count the combos yourself).
You will almost never be bet-folding AK on an A or K high flop unless the board contains 3 to a straight, or is monotone. It can easily be shown that it is in fact often correct to bet/fold on AKQ, AKJ and AKT versus some passive opponents who play any two broadway cards (they will very frequently only call with two-pair in this spot and will hold 16 combos for the straight alone, let alone the set combos).
bq. You will never be bet/folding two-pair or a set except on monotone boards, or when there is 3 to a straight (see AK hand above for an extreme example). You might also consider the strength of a hand like 87s versus a raise from a loose, passive opponent who is playing any two suited on a board such as Q87r.
You will never bet/fold AA except on KQJ and KQT.
Remember, these generalisations are very simple, and you will have to adjust your strategy in certain spots. It is often possible to narrow the range of hands for many villains based on preflop actions, and these can sway your decisions one way or another. However, if your opponent can legitimately have any set, AA, KK, and AJ+ in their range it is often correct to follow these guidelines.
One major caveat: If your opponent is frequently aggressive with drawing hands, or has shown himself to be a maniac and therefore warrant additional action, you will usually be making a small mistake by folding these medium strength hands. However, at the lower stakes where most players are passive and rake is your biggest enemy, occasionally folding the best hand is a much smaller mistake than calling off your stack versus a villain who is never ever putting money with worse.