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Cash game bet sizing pre and post flop

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  • Cash game bet sizing pre and post flop

    I play in a 1-3 NL game. Max buy in is $300 and I usually buy in for $200. Using advice I have read from both Jonathan little and others my standard preflop raise is 12. I play a raise fold strategy where I only limp in the sb and I always raise the same amount. This is a bit higher than the recommended 3x big blind, but there is usually at least one limper when I raise.

    My problem is two fold. First problem is that people rarely fold to this raise. About 80% of limpers call, and if there are multiple limpers they all call behind because of pot odds. Should I consider varying my starting raise, like adding one bb perlimper to try to increase my chances of getting heads up? I like that no one can put me on a range based on my opening raise, but there is perhaps a better strategy than my current one.

    my second problem comes on the flop and the turn. Here is a common scenario. I raise 12 preflop and get two callers there is now $36 in the pot. I miss the flop but In position against 2 I cbet when it is checked to me. So now I put in at least a half sized pot bet, so probably 20. I get one caller. I frequently would like to barrel the turn (always depends on the board and opponent) but to make a correct 1/2-3/4 pot bet I now need to bet around 40. This puts me in a difficult position. I am working on the assumption that I am trying to get my opponent to fold a stronger hand than mine. Minus any strong read on my opponent I feel I should cbet this as well when checked to and put an additional $40 in. So when I am called I have invested over 1/3 of my stack on a missed flop and I usually feel I am well beat and fold on the river bet. As a result I rarely make the correct raises. I raise smaller so that I don't have to invest so much of my stackon a bluff. Therefore it is easier for my opponent to call me down and I often learn nothing of my opponent because I fold on their river bet.

    I am a decent tag player but I am trying really hard to incorporate higher concepts into my game and win more often with aggression. But applying aggression correctly is not easy to do and trail and error is expensive. In the above example, if I try this early on I have lost a significant portion of my stack and I won't try this type of aggression again for awhile.

    I guess I am looking for advice on balancing stack sizes to bet size to pot size in a cash game. Maybe the answer is for me to grow a pair and stop worrying about losing a bit on a bluff. I know this is a complicated question so any general advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    Buy in for max. If you can't afford the max buy-in, find either a $1 - $2 game or buy in for the min and learn a short stacking strategy. I really don't advise short stack play as it is totally different from standard cash game play, but it is better than buying in for an awkward sized stack that you find yourself with.

    Keep you raise sizing consistent. 3x + 1bb for each limper. $9 if you are first in, $12 with one limper, $15 with 2 limpers and so on.

    Post flop, you do not have to c-bet every board. Players are not giving up as easy post flop to a c-bet any more because just about everyone knows about the c-bet. So it is not profitable in today's game to c-bet 100% any longer. Typically, you can start checking when you totally whiff on boards that are bad for your range or flops where you have marginal showdown value. In multi-way pots you can also forego the c-bet when you flop total air.

    Then you need to take some time to study a balanced double barrel range. Again, don't lust blindly double barrel, especially if you are not heads up.

    You also need to learn how to adjust your game to your opponents. in these limp fests, I like to get involved in the limped pots with suited connectors, suited Ax hands and small and medium pairs. THIS IS YOUR MONEY IN THESE GAMES. Flopping big hands and building big pots. Your money will not come from playing AK aggressive in these games. If you flop one pair, you will either win small pots of lose big ones if you either over value your hand or can't fold to your opponent trying to build a pot.

    If you have not picked them up, Jonathan has a book on small stakes cash games and a couple cash game books.


    • #3
      Thank you for the advice. The reason I buy in for 200 is that my bankroll is $2000. I don't want to risk more than ten percent of my total bankroll in any given session. I'm up on my total bankroll right now so I can afford to buy in for more, but managing my bankroll is my number one priority.

      Do do you think I should be limping more often? I have found people will fold more marginal hands before I act because they know that I won't limp in and give them a free flop. I have been playing suited connectors in late position, but I have been playing them with my standard raise. This also makes it difficult for opponents to put me on a range.

      So my follow up question is when Iam head up and miss the flop and decide that now is a good moment to double barrel how much should I be betting? Should I be sticking to 1/2-3/4 or is it ok to go a bit lower?


      • #4
        I play in a wide range of games and often grind a $2-$2 for 3 or 4 hours before moving on to some other game. The game starts at 7pm and up to about 10pm is often populated by retirees looking to play a game of cards, they are not really playing poker. Sometimes the entire table is completely predictable and sometimes there will be one or two aggressive players. Do not play your range against the retirees, they do not understand what you are doing. You need to play your given hand against their given hand. From 10pm there is a gradual influx of younger aggressive players.

        Some examples: If Peter raises in early position he has exactly AA,KK,AK. Marco will not even raise AA on btn or BB. Graham will only raise AA,KK and then only from HJ or later and will raise $10 with KK and $12 with AA. If Graham has a set he will min-raise the turn. If Joe has 22 and the board runs out KJ3A3 in his mind he has two pair and two pair is a strong hand and he will call any bet, he has played in that game more hours than me and still does not get it. Some players will not call two bets with KQ on a K high board, the size of the bets is not important, it is just that I bet twice, the second bet could be $15 into a $60 pot. Other players will not fold any pair for any amount regardless of how coordinated the board.

        An example of a crazy fold by me. I raise UTG with AsKd get three callers including Peter on the btn. Flop is Ac9h4h and pot is $51. I check and it is checked to Peter who bets $35 and I instantly fold as do the other two. Preflop his range is AK, suited ace, suited connector, pocket pair, he would fold AQo. There are 6 combinations of of AK, 3 each of 99, 44, one each of A9d, A4d and one each of AQd, AQh, AJd, AJh. He would bet $20 with AQ and check back AJ. The rake is 10% capped at $15 so my share of a split pot is $18. If he has AK he will bet flop and turn and check back the river, if he better than AK he will bet the river and I will have to fold. It is just not profitable to call his flop bet. He is a very open, straightforward retiree. I spoke to him afterward and he said he had AK and that he would have played AQ, AJ just like a described.

        A $6 raise is derisory and will get 8 callers, but there might be some smart alec on btn or blinds who will steal with a $36 bet. A $6 raise means suited connector, small pair, weak suited ace. A $10 raise won't get 3b not even by AA and could still get 6 callers. A $12 raise might get three callers.

        These people are easy to play against but do not use the same tactics you would use in a bigger game. However as in the bigger games observation is the key. Last year I made $40 an hour in this game with maybe only 6 sessions where I was down $30-$40. $40 an hour for 15 hours a week provides enough to even out the swings in the bigger games and in tournaments. But make no mistake, you still have to work hard profiling every player.


        • #5
          In this $2-$2 game I will sometimes be up against one or two players who are better than me and who I play against in bigger games. Chris is one who knows how to extract huge value out of marginal situations. There were a couple of limpers and Chris in CO with ATo raised to $12 with just one limper calling, the board ran out A9742 and Chris bet every street for value. I saw that Chris was closely observing the limper who was giving off tells, I could see he was reluctant to call and reluctant to fold, he was uncertain. Chris accurately put him on A5s and extracted about $100 from a marginal hand. Chris says he never makes moves in this game, he just waits for situations, which sometimes are extremely marginal, and then extracts value.


          • #6
            Another crazy fold. Ted will open $20-$40 with 22 - QQ, then turn over his cards and "I didn't want any callers". He will open $5 with AA, KK. He opens $5 it is folded to me with KK so he must have AA, so I call for set value, since he won't fold AA for any amount post flop. Flop comes AK2r. Ted bets $5, I instantly fold. I was 45 to 1 to make quads and we had $400 each so I could have drawn to quads but even against Ted I would have had trouble getting $400 in over two streets, on other hand I might have as he is never folding AA on AK2K.


            • #7
              Sorry to contradict the conventional wisdom, but limping into these games with 67s is a disaster. First there is sometimes one young dude who will raise to $14 in LP and you will have to fold, you will bleed chips by calling bets. Second if it is a limped pot your straights are dominated by hands like JT and the nut flush draws, and your flush draws are dominated by the nut flush draw. Even a K high flush needs to be played cautiously when 8 people see a flop, often three people will make a flush and you are never sure if your non-nut flush is good and so you cannot extract value. You won't get value from the nut-flush OOP, it is too obvious what you have and smaller flushes will actually fold to big bets. These players may be predictable but most are not completely stupid.

              Example: UTG opens $10, six callers including me on btn with 67s, and Chris in BB. Flop is 89T, checked to old dude in MP who likes to make crazy steals who bets $80, I am pretty sure he has KJ, so I put in my $200, Chris is quietly sitting in BB with QJs and of course he puts his money in and old dude calls. Chris takes down a $700 pot, old dude had exactly KJ. I asked Chris what he would have folded in that spot and he said bottom set.

              Opposite example: Six limpers, young dude in HJ with 6d3d makes it $12, everybody folds except CO who cold calls $12. Flop comes QdJs6c, HJ c-bets $15, CO calls, he probably has AT, KT, 9T, turn and river are blanks and go check-check. HJ takes the pot with his 6. The young dude would never get away with this in a bigger game.

              In most hand rankings ATs is about equivalent to AQo. But in this game you won't get value from your nut-flush and you have reverse implied odds if you flop an A or T.

              You need to pick your spots. You can raise to $14 from HJ with any two, get called by a limped JJ, QQ, KK, flop comes ace high, c-bet $25 and take it down every time. But you need to have accurately profiled your caller. Some players will not call your $14 with a limped AK, they reason they are paying $14 for a 1 in 3 chance of flopping a pair and that is all they will get if you have QQ. But they will pay $14 with any pair in the hope of making a set, because they falsely think they will stack you.

              The bottom line is there are no good or bad hands pre-flop. You need to play super nitty up front, raise $10 with 22+, AK. But don't expect to win a big pot with AK unless you really know your opponent, and play cautiously if you get resistance with bottom set.

              Example; UTG I raise $10 with 55 a couple of callers including Graham. Flop is J52r. I bet, only Graham calls. Turn is 2. I bet Graham min raises, I know I am beat he either has 22 or JJ, luckily he is short stacked so I call, he shows JJ.


              • #8
                1) What you are doing is called Cap stacking. I do this all the time as well in these garbage games. In these games, you rarely get good play, you get OG's playing their cards, gamblers getting juiced, and a few guys blowing off steam. No one is playing range poker, they're trying to run you down or defend a nut hand. The Cap is just insurance against the gamblers and the steamers who are out to take you down. The Cap makes you a smaller target and they are forced to adjust typically passing you by for better stacks.

                2) By playing exploitatively with the 4x bet in EP and MP, all you're doing is building a pot for these guys to gamble at. When they are out of position, they will limp/call into big pots. In position they'll just flat. You should be forgetting playing EP at all or limp polarized to set mine big pairs and connectors. You can and should 4x in LP holding position.

                3) Get bluffs out of your game until you know who's capable of folding and do it only when you have the respect of the table. It,s not necessary til 3/5.


                • #9
                  What should I have done with my 67s. I should have 3b to say $40. If I get shoved on, it is an easy fold. Chris who is super-nitty if conditions are not perfect would have folded. The crazy old dude would have called and I would have won a big pot against him.


                  • #10
                    There is an art to gambling, betting, and wagering. Range poker is a thought process but if you have enough experience in all aspects of the game starting hand really doesn't matter. let's focus solely on betting. We have to understand pot geometry in order to understand how much leverage we have relative to the pot we build.

                    For example if you have 67s in ep with a fresh $200 buy in a 300 max game 2/3. If you limp in EP and get 2 called the blinds will come along for a pot of 5bb for your 1 bet. This gives you a profitable draw regardless of whatever else the other players have. Now if you raise 3bb same thing but now there is 75 in the pot and you're pot committed due to stack sizes. This is how Capped Games (not just cap stack) affect the dynamics of a game. What you do on the flop depends on flop texture and your villain.

                    In this venue a lot of time is spent on hand ranges and actions based on 100bb effective but the reality is that many of us don't play that deep for whatever reason. We sometimes do win hands and end up with well over 100bbs. The point is that the game you play with a cap stack and or in a capped game will be different from the game you play deep.

                    This doesn't even speak to player tendencies and their stacks. Broadly, I call the OG's wide if they have deep stacks in front of them and will overbet/overplay their hands. They don't always have aces and kings and when they do, those hands have huge reverse implied odds when they go down.

                    Most importantly though, the bad end of a straight is not a good hand to stack off with especially when the overs are Broadway, gamblers will always have implied odds to draw at you even when they don't.


                    • #11
                      Here is another example of the problem in these loose games. Game is $2-$3 9 handed with stacks $250 - $1,000, I have $600.

                      In these very small games I have been in the habit of raising limpers 10x from HJ or later with any two trash unsuited broadway, mainly to tilt people so they will call me light when I have nut hands. But I wasn't getting much resistance and my occasional AA were wasted, despite some grumblings, "you seem to get a lot of big hands in late position".

                      I had KQo UTG a hand I would usually muck without thinking, but I decided to mix it up and open raised to $30 intending to check fold any flop. There were 7 callers, the only one to fold was Chris in BB.

                      Flop came KJ7r, according to plan I checked with the intention of folding. It was checked around to Rogan on btn who is a very bad loose player who likes to steal, who put his remaining $230 in, I am very suspicious about this, he could easily have K2s, John in SB calls, He is equally loose and bad and could just have a J, there is now $700 in the pot and I have top pair second kicker, so I put my $600 in and was called by John for his remaining $260. Rogan had KJ and John had J7.

                      After the hand Chris said he had AQ, when I looked startled he said what happened was the exact problem, if he flopped top pair he could be up against lots of two pairs and better, so to avoid being in a difficult situation he folded. This is why Chris makes more money from poker than I do.


                      • Paul Khoo
                        Paul Khoo commented
                        Editing a comment
                        something to learn from chris i do agree KQ playing in EP is bad , but the result of AK or AA will be the same , cant be us folding such premium hand in ep might as well shove preflop and which idiot call our all in.

                    • #12
                      The problem here was hand selection. KQo has little equity in multiway hands. With all those limpers single pairs are rarely ever good, with a big bet and a call your likely in trouble and OOP you don't really have a lot of options when you get action like this.

                      The other issues is your stack size. Once you're in a capped game where your stack is over the cap, you become the mark. In this hand and the last hand discussed you're the one getting sticky and if I can see it in a couple of hands, all your regulars know this about you too.

                      Overall though, a lot of this damage is self inflicted. You're reading skills need improvement, focus on that discipline and you're results should improve noticeably. In both hands discussed here, you overvalued the strength of your hand relative to your opponents Game, hands and tendencies.


                      • #13
                        I agree with XBob above. Your hand selection was not that good.

                        But I disagree with making large preflop raises. There is a good strategic reason for the sizing of your preflop raise.

                        First, in a $1/$2 game, when you open raise to $6, you are laying yourself 2:1 odds. You have a set amount of pressure to win that pot. 66% pressure in fact. With 66% pressure against you, the lowest hand in your value range should be the best hand 66% of the time. From UTG in a 10 player game, you need a hand in the top 4.5% of hands to meet that criteria. The math is that you need your opponents to not have a hand at least that strong 95.5% each. (66%=0.955*0.955*0.955*0.955*0.955*0.955*0.955*0.9 55*0.955).

                        This would put your value range at 99+ and AQs. Then you can add hands to range for a "balanced" range when it is appropriate to balance your range.

                        However, if you instead bet $14, the pressure against you now raises to 83%. That would reduce your value range to 2%. AA/KK/QQ/AKs.

                        I would still raise 3x in these games. If I add a semi-bluff range I would still keep my range value heavy, I would stop less than game theory balance. This is the exploitative adjustment I make for these games. The hands I choose to semi-bluff would be hands with potential to flop a big hand to play a big pot, like pocket pairs that can flop a set.

                        And if I end up in a multi-way pot with a one pair, I am going to be very careful about how much money I put in the pot. One pair hands, even AA becomes relatively weaker as more players enter a pot. However, when you raise 3x and get 4 - 5 callers, you will more likely win huge pot when you flop a set, but less like win the pot overall. If you play well post flop, this is more profitable in the long run than betting $6 and winning the blinds or getting heads-up.

                        Playing poker is not about winning pots. Amateur players will sometimes have a mindset that they have AA so they are supposed to win this pot. And they will do what they can to win, even if that means betting everyone out before maximizing your profits. Professionals don't worry about winning pots, they are concerned with maximizing epectations, which while they may seem to go hand in hand, they really don't.
                        Last edited by jjpregler; 02-22-2017, 07:20 AM.


                        • Paul Khoo
                          Paul Khoo commented
                          Editing a comment
                          i am trying hard to understand the maths pressure question you mention i will get back to you when i think more on this question, i am still not understand your 66% and top 4.5% etc

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by jjpregler View Post
                        Playing poker is not about winning pots. Amateur players will sometimes have a mindset that they have AA so they are supposed to win this pot. And they will do what they can to win, even if that means betting everyone out before maximizing your profits. Professionals don't worry about winning pots, they are concerned with maximizing epectations, which while they may seem to go hand in hand, they really don't.
                        Can you elaborate what you mean by maximizing expectations?

                        In the sentence before your last sentence you mention maximizing profits, which I completely understand. In the next sentence you mention maximizing expectations.

                        Is this the same thing?


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by JredA View Post

                          Can you elaborate what you mean by maximizing expectations?

                          In the sentence before your last sentence you mention maximizing profits, which I completely understand. In the next sentence you mention maximizing expectations.

                          Is this the same thing?
                          Pretty much yes they are the same, but from a mathematical/statistical proper vocabulary, expectation is the better term. Because as you know, profits don't always follow expectations. If you maximize expectation, you should profit, but that is not a guarantee.


                          • #16
                            Just to be clear, my comments about bet sizing (if they were directed at me) should be read very narrowly in the context of pot geometry, not as advice on what size to raise. If anything it's an argument to vary bet sized based on position (not relative card strength) on account of the likelyhood of EP 3x getting called down multi way. In small stakes games I balance the top end of the standard range and equity bluff range (suited connectors) with "standard lead open" bet and limp or fold (mostly fold) the rest. In the craziest games the standard open bet is just a limp.


                            • #17
                              jjpregler Patrick O XBobLove JredA reeeeeeper Wronglebowski Guidojjpregler is trying to mean by the calculation,

                              i used to open 3bb in any position RFI, i think this is good, with limper infront of me if i am not overlimp and strong enough to open i will open 3bb + 1bb per limper , not bad after all for this strategy the bad things that i wanted to said maybe in the early position , we might face alot of cold caller fish that dont 3 bet they wil just call and be very multi way pot and make the game very difficult to play , we are force to give up more pots then usual
                              example we have AA flop Q 2 3 , in a 7 way flop , we are good most of the time but when pot grow big , we are either againist draw or two pair or set , when we are oop in this type of situation when we didnt hit set what every board we cant accurate read down , flop 2h2s3h, we can meet a 2 , flush draw straight draw small overpair , house , what ever our overpair can be good.

                              i tried open bigger in early position can be even 7 - 9 bb i find the good things is i seems to have more fold equity even when muti way call me , i am not even worry much end up the spr will be so small for me to worry much , if i have over pair or tpTK i am almost not folding ,
                              i open 3 bb 7 way call 21 bb on flop is almost 4.x spr , we open 9 bb bb 7 way call , i left less then 2 spr so it will be easy for me to stack in after all

                              i find not much cons from opening so big from early position , maybe if villain overfold that is the only way player can exploit me, but in low stake game , preflop most player overcall , over bluff , but they dont overfold much preflop especially in live game. no one go to cardsroom of casino to fold all night


                              • #18
                                Hi Paul Khoo

                                This is my understanding of JJ's calculation.

                                We are betting $6 to try and win $3 (total of the blinds) so we're giving ourselves odds of 6:3 or simplified to 2:1.

                                To break even we therefore need to win the pot 66% of the time (2/[2+1]).

                                To work out what our starting range needs to be in terms of a percentage of hands we need to solve 1 - x where 66% = x ^ y (where y is the number of opponents).

                                So if we were opening UTG 10 handed there would be 9 opponents left to act: 66% = 0.955 ^ 9. So now we can do: 1 - 0.955 = 0.045 (or 4.5%)

                                If we were opening from the HJ and thus had 4 players left to act the calculation would look like this: 66% = 0.9 ^ 4. So now we can do: 1 - 0.9 = 0.1 (or 10%)

                                If we were opening from the BTN and thus had 2 players left to act the calculation would look like this: 66% = 0.81 ^ 2. So now we can do: 1 - 0.81 = 0.19 (or 19%)

                                This is actually a good representation of why we need to open our ranges up as we move into later positions.

                                Now I really hope that I've actually understood what JJ is attempting to show - this isn't something I've seen before.

                                Finally, provided of course that it is correct, I hope this clarifies things for you a bit mate.

                                And now we wait for JJ to tell me it's all wrong
                                Last edited by LondonImp; 05-13-2019, 10:37 AM. Reason: Formatting and stuff so it's hopefully a bit clearer


                                • jjpregler
                                  jjpregler commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Yes this is a good explanation.

                                  Except for one clarification in wording. I base my math on the 66% with a 3x and no antes, but since that is the odds I am laying for myself, I am looking to have the best hand statistically, 66% of the time. Your wording of the "winning hand" is just inaccurate since it is only preflop.

                                  So when I am laying myself 2:1 against, the worst hand in my value range has a 66% chance of being the best hand preflop.

                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  i seems to understand your explanation,
                                  what you guys mean when UTG open 3 bb top 4.5% hand is value range , when button open 3 bb top 19% is a value range.
                                  if we open bigger our value range become narrow , but how villain going to exploit us back even we dont narrow our value range?

                                • reeeeeeper
                                  reeeeeeper commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  When you open for too large a size with too wide a range your opponents don't have to exploit you, you're exploiting yourself by putting too much mathematical pressure on your hand. Let's say instead of opening to 3BB preflop you opened to 6BB. You would need to have the best hand 80% of the time if called. If you're UTG, that means a 2.5% range. That's TT+,AKs. So if you open AKo you're losing money. Unless your opponents are making huge post-flop mistakes. Granted, we sometimes play in games where they do, but then it's an adjustment from the baseline to widen your range. You need a mathematically correct baseline to start from in the first place. 3BB allows you to have enough fold equity and play more hands.

                              • #19
                                Originally posted by Wronglebowski View Post
                                Thank you for the advice. The reason I buy in for 200 is that my bankroll is $2000. I don't want to risk more than ten percent of my total bankroll in any given session. I'm up on my total bankroll right now so I can afford to buy in for more, but managing my bankroll is my number one priority.

                                Do do you think I should be limping more often? I have found people will fold more marginal hands before I act because they know that I won't limp in and give them a free flop. I have been playing suited connectors in late position, but I have been playing them with my standard raise. This also makes it difficult for opponents to put me on a range.

                                So my follow up question is when Iam head up and miss the flop and decide that now is a good moment to double barrel how much should I be betting? Should I be sticking to 1/2-3/4 or is it ok to go a bit lower?
                                FWIW, I don;t think a bankroll of 10 buy ins is enough. I would go for 30 but of course it's up to you


                                • reeeeeeper
                                  reeeeeeper commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  It's definitely not, which may be why he's not posting here any more (Paul resurrected a post from years ago).

                              • #20
                                LondonImp jjpregler

                                if i open bigger in ep lets say10bb , what will be the cons for hero , beside villain over fold?

                                i am only saying example , i am keen to understand what will be the cons and pro, i can find the good point opening big but dont feel much bad point yet


                                • jjpregler
                                  jjpregler commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Check your math. You made a major error in your analysis.

                                • jjpregler
                                  jjpregler commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Now that I am home I can comment on the math error in full.

                                  The analysis I provided is $3.35 cEV versus $1.30 cEV. Expected value calculations are run on a 100 hand basis. In 100 hands this is the expected value for each hand.

                                  You do not win $1.30 - 8.5 times more often. I honestly do not even know where you even came up with that number.

                                  You will win an average of $1.30 per hand over a 100 hand sample every time you make this bet, not just in the 7% of the times you are called. In fact, if you examine my analysis closely, you will see that when you are called with the tight range, you lose money and the profit is solely coming from all of the folding you are forcing your opponent to make. Because with TT every time the opponent continues, he is crushing you or flipping, with the exception of a couple hands like 99 maybe. Not such a great spot to be.

                                • LondonImp
                                  LondonImp commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Damn. Thinking it through I must be well out but can't tell where. Something to do with our equity when called probably but not sure how to use this to further my analysis...

                                  Also, I think for your second hand example the expected profit should be $1.99.

                                  EDIT: You provided further explanation whilst I was typing that out. It looks got into a bit of a muddle and misunderstood what the calculation was showing. Thank you for clarifying.
                                  Last edited by LondonImp; 05-15-2019, 04:15 AM.

                              • #21
                                -in low stake live game nobody fold at the right frequency

                                -if player overfold , we can in theory , bluff more, we get our profit from bluff instead of value.

                                -lets say 99 or TT do we get more profit from calling or from deny equity , ...
                                Let's just look at these 3 statements.

                                Yes no one folds as often as they should in low stakes. That is GOOD for you! Why are player always so afraid to play poker. I don't get it. Players not folding when they are supposed is what makes poker profitable. If everyone played as tight as they should we would all be losers in this game as we would just push money back and forth giving rake to the house every hand.

                                But let's say you bluff with a $20 raise with 54s instead of TT. You are betting $20 to win $3. That bluff needs to win 87% of the time. If you open in MP with 5 players left to act and even if they only call with 5% each now you are still not winning the pot 87% of the time. They will 3 bet or call on average 23% of the time with 5 players left to act. And when you get called or raised, 54s is crushed by their range.

                                Instead of thinking about "winning hands" step back and think about the math of poker. It is a math game. This is why I know this doesn't work, I have analyzed the math. The math does not support a 10BBs raise. The math supports a 3BB raise. No matter how you work it out, a 3 BBs raise will be profitable. Over the long term with a strong enough hand a 10BB will be profitable with your value hands, but not as profitable a a 3BB raise.

                                Even look at KK. You open in middle position. You raise to $6.

                                3% of the time each player will 3 bet you to $18, and your response to that will be to 4 bet to $50. They will shove AA/KK/AK to $200 and you will call. You will have 47% equity in this scenario. they will call with JJ/QQ and you will have 81% equity in this scenario.

                                32% each player will call with a standard weak flatting range.

                                Each player will fold 65%

                                All total we have

                                12% * $3 = $0.36

                                14% * (66%[($403 * 47%) - $200] + (34%[($103 * 81%) - $50] = $0.61

                                74%($15 * 79%) - $6 = $4.33

                                For a total expectation of $5.30 per hand. $53.00 per 100 hands. (For now, this ignores any multi-player pots)

                                Now if we raise KK to $20 in the same spot. Let' use the following assumptions: the 3 bet is a shove with AA/KK and AK. And 2% of the remaining times they will call with AQ/AJ/QQ/JJ/TT/99 and fold everything else.

                                77% * $3 = $2.31

                                10% * ($403 * 47% - $200) = -$1.06

                                13% * ($43 * 75% - 20) = $1.59

                                For a total expectation of $2.84.

                                Yes you will win the hand with the $20 raise more often. With the $6 raise you will win about 77% of the time. With the $20 raise you will win the hand 91% of the time. But your profits will be lower.

                                This is why weak players raise big. They think in terms of winning hands. You win more often with the big raise.

                                But real poker players think in terms of profit. You will lose more often with the small raise, but in the end you will make more money when you don't force your opponents to play correctly.


                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  jjpregler actually I totally agree with all your point mentioned , but all this stop at preflop, let's use some examples
                                  Hero utg ,let's say have AA
                                  -Hero open 3bb get more caller ,more player in the pot so more money so we gain more even.
                                  -Hero open 10bb get one caller or all fold in overall we get less money in preflop so we gain lesser ev then first option.

                                  Move to postflop
                                  - Hero face 5caller Out of position. 5caller will have 5different play style different mistake, some overcall some overfold, some over bluff, some like to trap ,(how good we can be ,when face 5caller oop) personal view (JL, or even phil ivey will have much edge when he is oop against player of my standard with 5player. We need to account we will make mistakes postflop when we are oop and has 5player behind us. Post flop mistakes will be bigger in ev we will return most ev gain preflop .

                                  Hero face one caller, if we are more skillful then villain we will have obvious edge. Even we are oop our edge will not diminish as much as multi way pot.

                                • jjpregler
                                  jjpregler commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Can't you see how your post flop analysis is still falling into the weak player mindset winning pots instead of winning equity.

                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  jjpregler ok we shall learn to look at winning equity. The Question will be in a 5 way multi pot it will be hard for us to realise our equity out of position, player are not stupid , they will bluff randomly , they also will value, also they might take worst hand and value, if we always ,check call it down we will get value hard from two pair plus, if we overfold we won't realise our equity.

                                  Example I often see this type of situation in a flop 5h 8h 9d , someone will have flush draw, someone have smaller overplay like TT they will play they have nuts, when we have AA in this type of spot, let's say we check ,they will not think hero having AA the TT will think he might have the best hand, but he can have set two pair , flush draw straight draw etc

                                  My personal experience, in a multi way pot generally we are playing bingo. Let's see who flop stronger, I am still finding ways and path to increase my win rate in multi way pot

                              • #22
                                Another big drawback of opening with larger sizing is the effect is has on post flop play.

                                At lower stakes games you will notice a couple of things:

                                1. The player pool as a whole plays too many hands.

                                When a player plays too many hands pre-flop, each progressive street they have too many hands in their range that opens them up to errors. In an attempt to combat all of these hands in their range they make 1 of 2 adjustments.

                                A. They either bluff too often or...
                                B. They fold too often.

                                Both of these adjustments can be massively exploited by a solid player and it is what we should strive to do.

                                2. Players get progressively worse on later streets.

                                Poor players make more errors on later streets when more money is on the line. Its that simple.

                                Part of the reason is from playing too many hands as mentioned above and the other factors include being scared with money in the pot, lack of experience playing later streets, and the inability to logically think through the situation due to lack of studying/playing (also thinking on a basic level - level 1 thinker).

                                Solid players get progressively better on later streets due to the increased amount of information that is available to them and their ability to utilize this information. As more information is gathered from solid players it allows them to add this information logically and come up with more +EV plays.

                                Poker is all about capitalizing on your opponents mistakes and good players take big advantage of the two common errors of lower stake players. However, raising large pre-flop allows poor players to avoid these two common mistakes mentioned above at a higher frequency.

                                For example:

                                Raising to say 10x tightens up opponents ranges and you are essentially allowing them to avoid errors on later streets. You might get one or two callers but they are not sticking around UNLESS they flop something good/great. You are getting them to play fewer hands, and to play fewer streets, which is the exact opposite of what we want.

                                Raising large also shrinks the SPR and reduces the playability of certain hands post-flop.

                                Remember, players at lower stakes get progressively worse on each street and make more errors on the turn and river. However, if we jack our raise sizes up, the stacks will be shallower on the turn and river and not give us the right amount of fold equity to make moves. Opponents will often just shrug and call when so much money is on the line compared to how much they have to call.

                                I think these larger raise thoughts come from the fact that we sometimes lose to worse hands (hands that are behind our AA, KK and QQ pre-flop). And these loses become engrained in out minds so we try to find ways around losing them. We as humans have evolved to remember the short-term - this is what has helped us evolve as a species. But Poker is about the long-term and that is hard for our brains to grasp.

                                The bottom line is we can't and won't win every hand. This is basically the same thing JJ is saying above, just worded without the actual math to prove it. You won't take down the pot with AA every time you are dealt them. You have to eliminate the thought of winning every pot when you look down at AA, KK or QQ. It simply won't happen.

                                Once you can get past this thought process it will open up a whole new aspect to the game and make the game even more fun.
                                Last edited by JredA; 05-14-2019, 09:16 AM.


                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  When the SPR is big even we are better then opponent,we are oop , even we have AA we will get bluff or get value by by either one of the opponent. When we open with strong range especially in ep our range is strong we don't mind small SPR, while big SPR, in a semi wet board we are normally in a headache spot without position, especially multi way pot 5s 7h 8h , someone will have flush draw, someone will have straight drawings , someone might have straight , might have set ,two pair, when we check if villain just daring enough barrel 3street strongly we can't do much. When SPR is deep how skillful u are ,the one in position will always have massive advantage. Card advantage will shrink alot in large SPR spot.

                              • #23
                                3 Questions:

                                1. What is the goal when opening for 3BBs?

                                2. Does the model take into account multi-way pots or just heads' up?

                                3. Does the model take into account non-perfect play? (e.g. getting bluffed off a pot you were supposed to win or losing a big pot when someone hits that low % runner-runner)


                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Question 1,2,3 can be find from above thread if you take time to read.
                                  a friendly sharing , dont try to memorise and mimic the play , i think to understand the concept is the way to improve , above there is alot of maths stuff to justify the reasoning, why open 3bb etc

                                • Tex
                                  Tex commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Paul, I am trying to prove some of the exact points you are Don't back off your opinion just because they throw some math at you. And I agree, there are some games where everyone is basically just playing Bingo. If there is a different game I avoid them. The best strategy I have found is if you double up in the Bingo game, stack your chips, fold for an entire orbit, then politely and quietly get up and cash out.

                                  I was a design engineer that started working in the field. I understand the concept of the perfect design and why it doesn't always work in the real world. There is no such thing as a simple mathematical model to determine the correct pre-flop raise. I guess theoretically there COULD be an equation complex enough, but there would be too many variables (and probably too many unknowns) to solve while sitting at the poker table. I can agree it is important to understand the concept and implications of increasing opening bet size and math IS a very important aspect in Poker. If you play a game where a 3BB open will mostly get you heads' up and sometimes 2 callers then it is a solid strategy.

                                  Texas Hold'em has evolved. The NEW $1-3 NLH cash game is multi-way and highly dependent on implied odds. When I read these posts it reminds me of a hand where the guy who opened to $10 with aces UTG asked me how I could possibly call with 37o as I am dragging a $1000 pot. I don't remember the hand, I just remember there were several callers and I was on the button. I also remember bluffing him off some other pots where he raised pre-flop later that night. I am generally a TAG player but when people open 3 BB pre I will play them as LAG. They rarely can put other players in a tough spot but the other players relentlessly put them in tough spots. I used to sit back and watch everyone else take their money.

                                  I recommend you read Annie Duke's book called "The Middle Zone". And remember this GOLDEN RULE (I think JL said it)..."Never stack off in a limped pot". I think the same can also be said about a 3BB raised pot in many of Today's $1-3 NLH games.

                                • Paul Khoo
                                  Paul Khoo commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  haha i still trying to figure out i kind of agree jjpregler point , but i still find something not right , but i cant point it out so when i figure out then will bring out this topic. Tex if you have point feel free to write it out maybe you can enlighten us