June 14, 2011
OK, dear fellowers of my blog, we made another theory lesson - topic:
Cbetting (board textures) / betsizes
As you could see from the graphs my girlfriend maintains a very aggressive playing style, which is obviously good due to her tight preflop play. If you play few hands you have to be even more aggressive to maintain a constant payout. Problems arise obviously when we cbet "blindly", regardless of board textures, player´s tendencies etc. and / or use betsizes that narrow the range of our opponents to a range that we´re likely behind against or at least not doing well.
So, step-by-step: what are the parameters to take into account when cbetting? I made the following list (in descending order of importance):
Decision factors for cbetting:
1) Opponent type
2) Board texture
4) Own hand
Explanation In further detail:
1) Opponent type: this is the most easiest part of the decision process. If you´re up against a calling station you want to be less bluffing and more valuebetting. If you raised QJs preflop from the BTN and you miss the board completely but know that your opponent won´t go anywhere with A-high, you don´t want to bluff your chips away. In contrast, if you know your opponent plays completely fit-or-fold, you´re much more inclined to cbet (up to any two).
2) Board texture: the board texture gives you an idea how good / bad it connected with your opponents likely preflop-calling-range and how good / bad it connected with your perceived range. Obviously, the better the board is for your range as preflop-raiser (= worse for the range of the preflop-caller), the more inclined you want to be to cbet. Boards that hit the range of the preflop-caller way more often than the range of the pfr are obviously bad boards to cbet.
We put up some classes for board textures (guided by Foucault and others):
Class 1: Uncoordinated high card boards (HC - MC - LC), i.e. K73r
Class 2: Paired boards (PC - LC), i.e. QQ2r
Class 3: monotone boards, i.e. Q82m
Class 4: Semi-coordinated high card boards (HC - HC - LC), i.e. KQ2r
Class 5: Semi-coordinated middle card boards (MC - LC - LC), i.e. T52r
Class 6: Coordinated middle / low card boards (MC - MC - MC), i.e. T87s
It´s obvious that the less the board hit our perceived range the less we want to cbet with air because our fold equity goes way down and it´s not profitable in a vacuum to triple-barrel overcards on a T87s board to get Villain "to fold his draws". That said, class 1-3 are "no-brainer" cbet-boards in most cases, class 4-5 are dependant on other factors, class 6 is mostly a c/f (without a hand).
3) Position: another factor that should influence our decision. If we´re in position with a hand that might be best but we don´t want get c/r (like AK on a T82r board) because we have outs that we don´t want to forfeit against a possible drawing hand it often is best to just check behind. Same goes for marginal hands we want to pot control with. If we´re oop we often should be more inclined to take the aggressive line and barrel because often our hand is not good enough to c/c. Like c/c AQ on a T82r board doesn´t seem to sexy.
4) Own hand: last but not least we want to judge our own hand and take into account how important it is for our holding to see the turn card. Imagine you have AKo on a QJ4s board. It would be a total desaster for us to cbet and get c/r-ed. Instead we want to take the pot control line and check behind to realize the equity we have against Villains range. Same goes oop. So, as a rule of thumb, the more often the turn card improves our range (and the less often it improves Villains range) the more often we should cbet. In contrast, if turn cards are more likely to help Villain´s range instead our our own - the more inclined we should be to cbet (i.e. with Q9 on BTN on a T65r board we should ovbviously be cbetting because there are little turn cards that really improve our holding but many that are good for Villain).
Our betsize obviously depends on two things (in general): the ratio between bluffs / value hands and the importance of protection. Our actual holding (in case we decide to cbet) is from less importance because we don´t want to give away any betsizing tells.
In general we want to bet smaller (like 1/2 - 2/3 pot) if our bluff-value-ratio is high (like we opened from BTN and the board comes K72r) and we want to bet bigger (like 3/4 - full pot) if our bluff-value-ratio is low (i.e. we raised from UTG and cbet on a T87s-board) which generally includes most often that we want to protect our hand against dangerous turn cards and charge possible draws.
If we´re against unobservant opponents we can indeed bet slightly bigger for value and slightly less as a bluff. Additionally, the more stationary Villain is, the more we can bet with our value-hands obviously.
If we plan to barrel multiple streets we should bet smaller. Reason for multiple barrels mostly is that we think we can create dead money and take it down on further streets. To do this we should keep some ammunition left for our "final shot".
Before we cbet we should briefly go through the decision factors: opponent type, board texture, position, own hand.
Every single factor in and off itself increases / decreases our willingness to cbet. After analyzing all factors and summarizing them we can decide if we want to cbet or not:
PRO: weak-tight opponent, dry board that hits our perceived range, out of position, weak / vulnerable hand (that´s unlikely to gain from further streets)
CONTRA: loose, stationy opponent, coordinated / low board , in position, hand that got tons of outs to improve
After we decided to cbet we should plan the betsize. The more often we want to be able to bluff (even multi-barrel) the less we should bet, the more often we´re "expected" to valuebet (and still expect to get called by worse, i.e. draws) the more we should bet.
Fair enough, with this "lesson" under her belt my sweetie started immediately to book some nice winnings on NL10. The last three days made in summary like $90. In the next blog I´ll add some example hands for the above mentioned theory. So, as always - stay tuned!