Value betting for dummies (me)
This gives me some trouble, so I'd like to enlist your help. I seem to do ok if I aggressively take down pots when I know I'm ahead, or am likely to be, but I think I must be leaving money on the table by not getting more money into the pot. In short, I think I'm not very good at value betting.
I want to use as an example a recent hand I posted in hand analysis. We're at the turn. I have a straight, and let's say villain has AXc, with 2 clubs on the board. The nut flush draw, in other words. There's $1.70 in the pot. We are in position. Villain checks. We bet...what?
Zero is clearly bad as we let them draw for free. 19.1% of the time they hit the flush and we win nothing. 81% of the time we win at least 1.70: EV: 1.39.
Shoving seems better. Any rational villain will fold, so we win the $1.70 in the pot. Chasers will hit 19% of the time, costing us 9.55 (assuming full 10nl stacks), but miss 81% of the time, when we take down the existing pot+the 9.55 they call with. Net +EV 7.27. So shoving gets us somewhere between $1.70 and $7.27 depending on how likely they are to call. I'm figuring close to $1.70 because it's such an obvious fold.
Any bet below 50c seems a net loser assuming they call. We bet .50 and lose 19% of the time, EV=-0.095 (compared to +$1.70) and win 81% of the time, EV:$1.78. Net EV: $1.687. We're better off shoving and taking the $1.70 than betting $0.50 or any lesser amount if they call.
Am I correct in saying a value bet, then, is anything north of 0.55? It's the range where we make money if you call, so we want the call 100% of the time.
It gets hairy for me after that. Ok, so I want to bet more than 0.55, but how much more? Obviously, as much as they'll call, but how much is that? My toy example here ignores the fact that I don't really know what their cards are. So, the flush hits and they bet into me, but perhaps that's beyond the scope of value betting. Do we just size it so we can fold every time the third club hits and still make money?