No, not always. It depends on the flop and the opponent. If I have 33 and villain's tight and we get a QKA all the same suit, the only button I see is check. I know, "most flops miss most players", and that's actually one of the issues I'm wrestling with. Let's say we get a typical flop. Hmm, lemme pull one live...8JJ rainbow.
Ok, so with a typical opponent I think I'm either ahead here, but vulnerable, or crushed by Jx, or 44+. If I could call one bet and be done with it, I would...sometimes. Probably half the time or more. Where it gets dicey for me is the later streets. QKA shows up, and well, they're scare cards for a reason. Hole cards people chose to play are more often Q, K, and A than 2, 3, 4, so my lowly small pair isn't looking too good. So, at some point from flop to river, it's not looking pretty. My thinking is IF I'm going to fold at all, better sooner than later. I feel like calling a flop bet there is basically saying "I believe I'm n% likely to be best now" where n is the pot odds
I'm getting to make the call. It's about 11:1 that I'll make the set on the turn OR river, so ok, that gives some hope of getting chips back, but again, that 11:1 call means I need to win a TON on those rare occasions I do win. Going with the 7.5 BB PF pot example and assuming the bet I have to call is 1/2 pot, I think I need to take down an average of 44.5 BB when I hit the set or the call is -EV. Ok, if they consistently 1/2 pot or better to the river, I can get there. At just 1/2 pot, I'd have to have the opportunity to reraise and get called. It still seems very dependent on finding a sucker who seriously overplays a hand. I did just play with THE worst player online -ever-, but I'm also sitting now with a 9/7, 16/10, 4/4. Ok, if these guys hit, they hit something solid most of the time, but that's blessing and curse. Most of the time they miss and aren't pumping the kind of money I need into the pot.
And, that aside, I'm going by the video whose message seemed to be if you don't hit the set, get out.
I know there's a chance I'm doing the "monster under the bed thinking" thing, too. There are only two cards that improve my hand, but more (A down to my pair) which potentially improve theirs. I suppose I have exactly the same question in this case. When the flop misses my pair, what's the mathematical rationale for calling?
If the right answer is "call/bet/raise when you hit, call -sometimes- when you miss", how do I figure out how often sometimes is, and if I make a statistical decision (call 20% of the time), how far do I take it?
I can just close my eyes and trust the math. If I know calling n% of the time on a miss is right (and why), I'll do it without reservation. I'm just not understanding the why right now. I figure if I can get this down, it's an instant win rate boost.