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Value Bets and Balance

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  • Value Bets and Balance

    kkep and I were going over some hands I played in a live $220 recently and thought this one was worth discussing with the group.

    H AhQs P UTG S 30k B 200/400/400
    Open to 1k get calls from UTG1, MP, LJ and BU
    Flop QJ7hhc bet 1800 and UTG1 and MP call
    Turn 4c bet 3500 and only MP calls
    River 3h I check call 5500

    First off I think my sizing is suspect on a such a coordinated board. Second, how considered should we be with our ratios here? My range probably looks something like this:

    On a board that hits our UTG range pretty hard is it okay to have more value bets than bluffs (particularly this multiway)? Or should we be looking to check hands like AA and AQ?

  • #2
    Something I've noticed that may have been obvious to most of you. When we open from early position and a couple of Broadway
    cards hit + an obvious FD we end up kinda value heavy if we are playing top pair/over pairs as value hands.

    i also know how hard it is to balance ranges on the fly. So I've been playing with some different ranges and this is what I've come up with.

    It's easy to split our ranges if we bet the good hands that have the BDFD and check the rest. So here we bet bottom set with the 7h, AAhx KKhx AhKx AxKh AQhx

    RealJPB Range

    I think my range was easier to balance since it's wider. However by following a simple rule of thumb both ranges end more balanced than they otherwise would be.



    • #3
      5-way OOP I'm checking almost all flops with almost all hands. In this case check call. Turn check call. River I probably lead small to block, since you have the nut flush blocker you're unlikely to get raised so you can set your own price.

      I don't think you balance the same way massively multiway that you do heads-up. MDF just doesn't really matter. Exploitation is minimal. You're protected by the field and the field is protected from you. With this hand, I'd just be trying to get to showdown without getting stacks in and keeping my opponents bluffs in.

      EDIT: Obviously free cards are bad but the likelihood of it checking around this multiway is small. If it does check around I'd pick up the reins and start betting it myself. Also, you definitely want money to go into the pot, but you're not getting any of the draws to fold by betting, you're just ensuring that they pay a bad price and giving them the opportunity to use.your bet as leverage. If someone else (or the draws themselves) give a bad price then you're work is done and it's less likely to be leveraged into risking more of your stack than you want to here. I position this would be a much different story.
      Last edited by reeeeeeper; 08-08-2019, 12:17 AM.


      • #4
        I thought about this some more in regards to your premium:bluff ratios specifically. You should reduce your bluff ratio for every extra person in the pot. So what my comments meant were that by the time you get to a 5-way pot your bluff ratio should be so small that in most of the games we play if it was almost non-existent I don't think it would be exploitable. Similarly you can have more junk in your checking range since you won't be able to be specifically targeted for exploitation. i.e. I think you have too many bluffs in your chart for a multiway pot. I think you could just bluff the heart draws and be fine, and maybe not even those. If you have 0 fold equity, then betting your draws is a losing proposition. You can maybe set a price for them though by betting 1/3 pot or something, in which case you should probably do that with your premiums as well.

        Also, I said I check a lot there, but I think leading with AQ is fine too. It's just a difficult spot.
        Last edited by reeeeeeper; 08-08-2019, 02:28 PM.


        • #5
          In multi-way pots you want to play your range a bit more honestly than heads up (this is directly from Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Hold'em).

          So when you are reviewing hands in multi-way pots, do not worry about perfect balance as reeeeper puts it above.

          The more players that are in the pot, the more likely it is that they have a hand. And the more players that are in the pot, the less often they have to defend to be theoretically correct. So balancing your flop value bets w/ bluffs multi-way is going to light money on fire over the long run in multi-way pots as you are only likely to get called by hands that have a decent amount of equity against you.

          For example, when you are against four players at least one of them will connect 87% of the time with the flop. So your bluffs will have to be multi-street at a high frequency and will be very costly when you don't hit.

          With that being said you want to have some bets and the stronger parts of your value range and your absolute strongest bluffs are great candidates. They offer the potential for building your stack. So I am definitely firing at this flop and looking to extract value and to charge for cards on a wet board.

          As far as what bluffs to choose, I like going with the strongest that offer multi-street opportunities. But again, my bluff range is heavily reduced when pots go multi-way.

          My continuing range on this flop would look something as follows (depending on table dynamics of course):

          Click image for larger version  Name:	Screen Shot 2019-08-08 at 1.19.22 PM.png Views:	0 Size:	305.7 KB ID:	22159

          9c8c is questionable and I probably just check that to be honest.

          My actions with my marginal hands depend greatly on the action (both the player action and sizing). For example if I check with AJ and only one person bets, I may peel depending on their image and bet sizing. Sometimes I may fold though. There are so many variables here.

          But the bottom line is to not worry so much about balancing bluffs when you go this multi-way.
          Last edited by JredA; 08-08-2019, 02:31 PM.


          • #6
            5 ways, OOP, with a flop that hits just about anyone... I agree... i'm checking here 7 out of 10 or more, regardless of my hand. IF it happens to check around, then on that turn, i may make a pot-size bet to make the simple flush/straight draws unprofitable and to Rep a big hand and be happy to take it down... but it'd depend on the table. Just a tough spot.