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Indifferent Bet Sizing

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  • Indifferent Bet Sizing

    This is a concept I am trying to understand and would be very grateful for guidance on where I am going wrong.

    A top class player will size his or her bets in a way that makes them indifferent to your actions. By which I mean it doesn't matter to them what you do because the worst outcome for them is that they break-even in the situation.

    On the river he or she may calculate their ratio of nutted hands and bluffs they want to bet with and realise they are 3:2. So if they bet and get called they will win 60% of the time and they will lose 40% of the time. Knowing this they can give you pot odds of exactly 40%. If they bet 20 into a pot of 10 then they give you odds of 40% (20 to call into a pot of 50 [our call + their bet + original pot]).

    What this effectively means is that the very best you can do is break even in this spot. If you fold too frequently then this increases their profits with their bluffs, and if you call too frequently then this increases their profit with their value hands.

    For example if we fold a hand with 45% equity against their range (highly likely for most people facing a 2x pot over bet on the river I would assume) we are making a -ev decision right?

    Is this correct or are their other factors that I'm missing?

    The way I would be looking to use this against unknown villains, or villains I think are good, would be pretty much exclusively on the river (for now anyway). Say I have a bunch of draws on the turn and they all brick on the river. This might leave me with an unbalanced range of 1 made hand for every 2 bluffs (the opposite of what is recommended). Therefore if I bet them all and get called I will only win 33% of the time. So, if I bet pot then I give the opponent pot odds of exactly 33% and so I become 'indifferent' to their action and at worst break-even.

    I'd be very grateful for any feedback. Especially if I've screwed this up in my head.

  • #2
    Isn't this really just about having a well constructed and properly played range as well as effectively ranging our opponents?
    In fact if I'm not mistake the bigger your over bet the less bluffs you get to have.

    IDK if I'm on the right track or not. It seems like you are assuming all your made hands will win when called and that wont be the case.


    • #3
      Watch "Evan Jarvis Hand Selection" coaching webinar, especially minute 15.

      I think you're thinking is right, but no need to get that complicated at low stakes.


      • #4
        I think you've outlined the concept pretty well. I wouldn't worry about trying to implement it in practice. Until Ike Haxton starts playing in your games, every villain (even the relatively good ones) are going to have significant enough holes in their games that you should be exploiting them in some capacity.