Should you bet or check the best hand with many chances of being outdrawn?
Hello everyone. This thread applies to no limit holdem cash game in particular, but still can be used in other games. I am a beginner so take it easy on me, we are here to learn .
Sklansky in his "Theory of poker" strongly advise betting with the best hand almost always to not give worse hands free chance of improving and outdrawing us.
The only exception would be if our hand is very strong and chances of opponent catching a card that would give them better hand than ours were slim, and we expect to gain more chips through deception.
He also suggests that with hand that is likely to be the best and mediocre hand like 2nd pairs we should still be more willing to bet rather to give an opponent free chance of outdrawing us. He says that even in situation when we expect to be called only by a better hand, we still should bet rather than giving an opponent free chance of improving.
To illustrate his opinion he uses an example of Jc JD on board Ts Tc 3h against a better opponent. We should bet than give our opponent with random king queen or ace free chance of improving.
He also says the higher the chances your hand is the best and higher chances an opponent have of improving , the more reason to bet.
The point is, if you think is hand is better at the moment you should bet rather than check.
But what happens when it is likely that your and your opponent(calling station or Weak lags) missed the flop, but still you have an initiative and your hand is now a favorite against an opponent's wide range?
AKo out of position against calling station on 258 rainbow.
ATs in position on 378.
77 on 363.
88 on 279
A8s on 925
In all these examples, we are likely to be favorite at this point but still weaker opponents are likely to call with overcards, straight and flush draws, small pairs, aces etc. IN one word they are likely to continue most of their preflop range.
What do we achieve by c-betting both in position and out of position?
We build a bigger pot with hand that will have to slow down on most turns unless we improve. Against weak lags we give them an opportunity to check-raise which we cannot call.
What do we achieve by checking
We keep the pot small, give ourselve , but also an opponent free card, and free chance of outdrawing us. Our check instead of c-bet looks weak,and many players automatically fire on the turn causing us to fold regardless wether they improved or not.
In my opinion in situations like these both checking and c-betting are bad options.
Checking is also incorrect according to the fundamental theorem of poker.
"Every time you play differently from the way you would play if you could see your opponents cards you lose" and with the best hand at that time theory suggests that we should bet.
I am hopeless in this situation that come up very frequently in 0.02-0.05 that I play with many calling stations and weak lags.
What would you do in this situation with weak best hand when opponents are never folding,and they have plenty chances of improving and bluffing? Would you check or bet?
Would you rather save the bet, and possibly lose small pot or bet to protect your hand, make an opponent play incorrectly, but risk losing bigger pot?
Please correct me if I am wrong or if I missed anything. Is there a solution? Thanks for the advice.