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When to C-bet

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mwildjack

Avatar for mwildjack

50 posts
Joined 01/2012

We raise on the BB and the BB calls, we have a flop like KQ2hh and ours cards are AcTs against a nitty player.

Something seems very weird to me when we are C-betting the flop. I know there are going to be a lot of standard answers in this example above like: Well he can’t have that much so bet, and: this flop hits his range so check. But I read Easy Game from Baluga Whale and it says there are 3 reason to bet.

1. Valuebetting
2. Bluffing
3. Capitalization of deadmoney: This is defined as making the opponent fold, wheter his hand is better or worse

Our reason in C-betting should obviously not be reason 1 because we wont get called much by worse hands, it’s also unlikely to get a better hand to fold so bluffing is also not an option. But when we check we have a chance to get outdrawn by his air (against a player with a VPIP of 20% he hits this flop 56.4% of the time when calling with Middle Pair+, FD and OESD)so he also has alot of air where he can outdraw us with. So if we bet it has to be reason 3: Collecting dead money.

With the Capitalization of Deadmoney logic I always tend to think: Well there is some deadmoney to be made from this flop in hands like 22-JJ,air,gutshots etc. But then again C-betting this flop is also a bad idea because it strikes his range hard.

So when do we draw the line between C-betting or not C-betting in these kind of spots. And how can we apply the Capitalization of Deadmoney Concept in an optimal way.

Posted over 2 years ago

improva

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3891 posts
Joined 02/2008

There is only one reason to bet and that is: Because we expect it to have a higher EV than checking.

In other words you have to assign a range to villain and guesstimate how he will play the different parts of his range if you bet and if you check. Well, in fact you need to take it a step further and look at how you expect villain to play on the turn if you XC the flop, and to make matters more complicated how he will respond if you XC the flop and lead the river (should the turn go XX).

Often you will find yourself playing against players where you are not really sure about the answers to the questions above. That is perfectly fine and very natural. In those cases you should pay extra attention to how villain plays and have a standard line that you think works well against many players. Your first guess is very often correct. Trust your gut feeling.

This is what you should do: Assign villain a preflop calling range. If you have problems visualizing how different ranges connect wih different board textures then I suggest you play around with Flopzilla. Practice makes perfect. Now ask yourself how villain is likely to play if you bet. Is he going to float a lot ? What does your range look like if you bet? If you are still lost. Take a mental note. Mark the hand in HEM and think more about the hand after the session. Practice makes perfect. You default plan should in the most cases be: If you have some equity vs villain's calling range vs a cbet and only marginal SD value - then it is likely best to bet. The more folds you expect to get on the flop the less equity you need vs villain's calling range for a cbet to be +EV.

There are obv expections where checking is better. Players that auto-bet when checked to is one example. Against them you should consider a flop XR.

This is only very surface of a good thought process when you are the preflop raiser, but it is a start.

Good luck at the tables..

Posted over 2 years ago

Loiner

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499 posts
Joined 05/2011

It is very complex as Improva outlines very well.

You also have to think about his 3 betting range. If he's 3betting a lot in this spot you will surely find QK0, AQ,AK,KK,QQ,AJo and QJs in his 3 betting range. Since he didn't 3bet you can now discount some of those ranges. I bet he is now not longer hitting the flop 56 percent.

And to simplify it as much as I can. Lets just assume that he hits the flop 56 percent and fold to a bet if he doesn't. Now cbetting something like 70 percent of the pot is still going to net you a profit.

Then add the fact that he will sometimes call and you you improve to the best hand on the turn ( if a jack or maybe an A is turned). Lastly you have to account for your position. It often gives you the possibility to check the turn behind giving you an extra free card. With two free cards your hand will actually improve roughly 24 percent of the time.

Posted over 2 years ago

blah234

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2602 posts
Joined 12/2009



1. Valuebetting
2. Bluffing
3. Capitalization of deadmoney: This is defined as making the opponent fold, wheter his hand is better or worse



This is an ok thought process to go though if you are still playing micro stakes and trying to improve your fundamentals or as a transition from just clicking buttons. Think of it as training wheels for when you are learning to ride a bike. It is a flawed thought process though since those reasons by themselves does not guarantee EV but better than clicking buttons without thinking.

What Improva posted is the correct thought process. It's the direction where everyone should be working towards but don't worry about it if you can't get there instantly. I think if your thought process is on the level of Improva's post, you are ahead of the majority of poker players.

At the end of the day only one thing matters if our goal is to win money at poker. No matter what words we use to describe our thought process, in the end only EV matters.

Posted over 2 years ago

ShiestyShamus

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135 posts
Joined 04/2011

I might actually plan a bluff in this spot if the opponent wasn't crazy with check raises. If the opponent is a tag fish, you can probably get him to fold even top pair if you 3 barrel with large enough bets since his 3betting range usually excludes any premium kicker kings from his range. Also, nits usually play pretty standard and can find a fold here if you don't do this sort of thing often and he has no reason to believe you're most likely bluffing. You also have about 7 outs to improve so you get the additional value of making a small value bet on the river if you improve. Not the kind of play I would plan on making without reads, but it's exactly the type of multi-street play that I look to find good opportunities for when playing. I think this is a pretty good example of a flop where a standard c-bet is questionably profitable when looking at it in a vacuum, but actually gains a lot more value when you have a multi-street plan for what you're doing.

Posted over 2 years ago

mwildjack

Avatar for mwildjack

50 posts
Joined 01/2012

Thx all for replying. It clears alot of my problems with C-betting and navigating through hands


PS: made a small mistake in the first sentence: We raise on the [button] instead of BB

Posted over 2 years ago




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