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When you bet 3 streets - do so polarized...meaning, including garbage?

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  • When you bet 3 streets - do so polarized...meaning, including garbage?

    Trying to better grasp polarization. Trying to conceive of betting three streets with good hands (got that) and "bad" hands -- low part of polarized range - (don't grasp that).

    I'm surmising so we don't seem face up - so we want to have some lesser hands? If so - just HOW bad is still okay - and how bad is beyond being part of a polarized range?


  • #2
    It depends on the runout. Being polarized on the river is the assumption of 2:1 ratio of value hands to bluffs. The value range is the set of hands that when you bet will get called by worse hands more often than they are called or raised by better hands. I cannot give generalities on this as it is very specific to each individual hand. This is just an experience thing.

    When choosing your range of bluffs, attempt to choose hands that have 0% chance of winning with a check/check on the river and hands that block some of the calling range. If there was a diamond flush draw and the diamonds missed, then bluffing with diamonds is not a good choice. You are blocking relevant hands you want to fold. But if the straight draw gets there, having cards that block the straight make good options to bluff the river.


    • #3
      • Pre-Flop
        • Linear
          • We raise the best hands, how many hands that is depends how wide the initial raiser is.
          • We generally do this when someone can call behind us and/or we expect to get called more than we get re-raised or folded to.
        • Polarized
          • We raise our best hands for value, the hands that get called and jammed on by worse, again how wide depends on villains range.
          • We raise hands as bluffs that are not strong enough to call but have some combination of blockers to premium hands, post-flop playability (especially the ability to cooler the nuts,) and the ability to make better hands fold (A9s makes ATo and AJo fold a lot more than AJ will make AQ fold.)
      • Flop and Turn
        • Linear/merged/range
          • When we have a large range advantage, especially when Villain's range will have a hard time defending against small bets, we often just bet everything. In theory I guess we would also have a linear post-flop strategy if Villain were a calling station so we didn't really wanna bluff. Again just means we bet our best hands, and when our range is strong enough, we just bet everything.
        • Polarized
          • When equities run closer, or we're at a disavantage, especially OOP, we generally used a polarized range. Best hands, and bluffs that aren't good enough to call/have poor showdown value, have outs to premium hands, can bluff on later streets, block Villain's continuing range, unblock villain's folding range, and can make better hands fold.
      • River
        • Unless Villain is a station, we're generally polarized on the river.
        • The breakout of bluffs to value is dependent on our bet size. A pot sized bet size we need ~33% bluffs to be balanced. 2X pot bet calls for 40% bluffs to be balanced. What opponent has to call/(The Pot+Your Bet+Opponent's call)
        • For our bluffs on the river we're looking at cards with some combination of weak showdown value, blockers to VIllain's calling range, unblockers to villain's auto-folding range, and the ability to make better hands fold.
        • If we're betting with multiple sizes, the bluffs that bet big tend to be the ones that block the nuts, and have the least showdown value.


      • #4
        Let me simplify here and say "yes, including garbage." At least relative garbage. You still have a choice, whether to raise 72o or K8s, and you might as well go for the K8s, because it's better garbage.

        But you do it because, if your opponent is overfolding to raises, you will steal enough to pay for the risk you are taking. And if he's calling your raises then you might get lucky and hit a disguised hand once in a while. What you really are doing is forcing him to call when you have a big hand (because he knows you don't always). You basically are assuming he'll make one mistake or the other. Overfold or overcall, and you'll make money on one end or the other.

        Of course if he's pretty straightforward, as I think most low limit players are, this may be an unnecessarily fancy strategy. You could just play your strong hands if he's going to call them anyway. No need to set it up by playing weak hands if he isn't even going to notice.

        Also of course if he adjusts "just right" then this strategy won't work (it will give away as much as it takes). But in such a case the thing to do is find another game.
        Last edited by RCMorea; 04-27-2021, 08:40 PM.