In this free online poker instruction and tips lesson we’re looking at the use and application of value betting by use of a pro game real life hand example. Read through to find out who won and how.
In a board which is one off a Straight, such as 7-8-9-2-J, what will you do if you had the 9-8? If your opponent checks, would you also check? Most of us may, because your opponent may have, say, A-10 and hung on the Turn only to try to trap on the river.
But once you have determined that he is more likely not to have the Ten in this case than to have it, we can get some additional chips from him by value-betting. Here is an example of a similar hand:
This hand was shown on the Turn. (Pot about 250k)
Both players checked on the Flop.
Both checked, maybe, because their hands were too weak for a Board which presented Straight and Flush possibilities. One may be on a draw, and someone may not be willing to continue strongly with just one Pair.
A has ??-??, checks
B has ??-??, bets 200k
Now maybe B has a gutshot or a Flush draw, so he wants no more trouble with A. What does A do?
A raises to 600k
B calls 400k (Pot now 1.45m)
Now A’s check-raise may reinforce B’s belief that A has a made hand, like 9-x or a high Pair, but B may be on a draw, so B calls. Additionally, the pot is large already, so B can afford a call (400,000 in a 1.05m pot) if he has a Straight or a Flush draw, or even an overpair (which I suspect), or a Pair with a draw, even if he believes that A has a Nine (B may also have the remaining Nine with a Flush draw).
A bets 1m
Even on a dangerous Board with a Straight draw (but without any more Flush possibilities), A bets. Now this is not a board where A can afford to push B all in; however, this is quite right for a value bet.
Here are the reasons:
1. A bets because if B has a hand and if B bets, then A will be put on a decision. A doesn’t want that to happen. He has shown strength on the Turn when he check-raised; therefore he wishes to be consistent. He wants to put B on a decision. He wants B to think if he has the Eight than give his opponent the opportunity of making him do the hard thinking.
2. Furthermore, A bets because check-calling has the same effect as betting and then getting called. But the second alternative, betting and getting called, is more aggressive.
3. A wants to get additional value for his Trip Nines. As long as he believes that B has a decent hand but not a strong one, he will bet to get chips from B, who has played passively from Flop up to now (checking after he checked on the Flop, betting small then calling a raise on the Turn). If B folds, he hasn’t a hand, and A wins the pot. If B calls and A’s estimate of his hand strength is right, then he will obtain more chips than he would if he checked and B just checked (which is what a passive player will do).
4. Now, let us add that A is a very strong player. He may be bluffing, but he doesn’t want it to be obvious. Therefore he dresses the bluff in the form of a value bet. He hopes that B will be fooled, especially in a Board in which a bluff may work well against marginal hands (paired Board and one off a Straight).
B calls 1m
B calls. B may have a decent hand which is good enough for showdown. A’s value bet gives him about 2.5-to-1 on a call (1m more to win a 2.45m pot) which B may consider to be sufficient enough for a pay-off with, say, A-10 or even a small Pair. So what are the two hands each are holding?
A reveals Jh-9h
A correctly rounded off the respective hand strengths of his and B’s hands; this gave him sufficient confidence for a value bet. A more passive player will just check-fold or check-check.
So what was B holding, and what could he have made? He may have K-K, Q-Q, or A-10, and just slowed down when he saw a Board conducive for a Straight and Flush development, as well as a Pair. B may also have a small Pair, where he thought was the best hand, and just decided to pay off.
Whatever it is, it is a made hand, and maybe he couldn’t help wondering what A was holding; who was this A? That’s right; it’s Phil Ivey. Maybe B assumed the check-raise on the Turn and the bet on the river were bluffs; it was just Phil Ivey playing aggressively and reading hands.
So get practicing your poker value betting and learn how to bet better in poker games by applying the ideas in this free online poker training article. And if you’re not already playing free poker practice games at NoPayPOKER get started today, it’s utterly free and risk free and is US player legal even by the latest 2011 definitions!