The WA/WB concept
I posted this hand, and the reason why checking >>>>> betting in hand analysis. So just thought I'd x-post it here too, as its kinda burried at the end of a long thread:
6max, Full Tilt, 100NL, both hero and villain have $100 in their stack. Assume no reads.
Preflop (6 players):
Hero is dealt
on the button
2 folds, CO
calls, Hero raises to $4.5, 2 folds, CO calls.
Flop ($10.5, 2 players)
CO checks, Hero.....?
Most people said betting is best here. They are wrong. Checking is best:
Its a concept know as WA/WB, which stands for way ahead/way behind. It for spots where if you're ahead, then your opponent has very few outs and if you're behind, then you have very few outs. Now there are a few situations that we can class as WA/WB, and some don't fit in with this generalisation, but most the time in a WA/WB situation we will have a hand that is of medium stregnth and by betting, worse hands fold and better hands call/raise.
This situation is a perfect example of that (hence why I picked it). A few people for some unknown reason said that A4 will fold if we bet the flop. This is clearly wrong. NO-ONE will limp/call A4 preflop just to fold to a flop cbet when an ace flops. Some other people also said that villain will lead the flop if he had the ace. This is also wrong. EVERY1 c/c or c/r the flop with the ace here (leading this flop with the ace is obv bad, as it misses out on a cbet.) ANYWAY, as I was saying, If we can't fold out A4, its obvious that we can't fold out a better hand by betting. Next question, can we get a call from a worse hand. Answer...maybe....but only just. 89 for instance *might* call us on the flop, but so what? We're only getting 1 street of value out of him, so it doesn't really matter where we get it.
SO, if we bet this flop and he folds, have we really accomplished anything? Well we've won the pot, thats a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. We've won teh money, so thats obv good, but all we've done is made him fold a hand that was most probably drawing to 0-5 outs. Next question: could we play the hand in such a way so that we could have got MORE money from his 44/78/QJ etc etc. Answer...YES, we could have checked.
Look up through the post. Look how many people have said that checking is bad, because otherwise on the turn, he will bluff with his bad hands and make us fold. Its amazing quite how close every1 is. Every1 sees that, but not enough of you have taken it that 1 step further. Rather than folding to a turn bet...CALL A TURN BET! You've all said yourself that he will bet just about every hand he has, and we're ahead of just about all of those hands, so pretty obviously, calling on the turn is the best move, as we've now induced a bluff.
So consider the 2 options you have up to the turn if he has 44/QJ/67 etc. either, we can bet the flop and win the $10 pot. OR we can check the flop, let our opponent see 2 cards and possibly outdraw us, but make him pay $8 to do so. Without doing any major maths at all, it very obvious the better choice is to check the flop. Sure we win the pot LESS OFTEN, but more importantly, when we win the pot, we are winning a BIGGER POT. Now as the situation is a WA/WB one, we don't get outdrawn all that often, so the bigger pot is WAY more important than losing the pot once or twice.
Now comes the tricky part. if there is never a river card, very obviously as I hope I have shown, checking is best and please believe me when I say this (these ideas are not made up by me, they are from the top online players, way better than all of us) thats so far, its really not even close. Put yourself in villains shoes. You limp preflop with 67s and call a raise. Flop comes A-high and you check and so does the preflop raiser. The turn gives you nothing, but he checked the flop, so you decide to bet the turn as a bluff. WTF IS THIS....HE CALLED!!! Whats going through your head now? You obvoiusly think he has a decent hand. Most probably an ace and maybe an even better hand that he's slowplaying. But its pretty obvious that he has SOMETHING, or else why would he have called the turn? So on teh river, you have sweet FA. What are you going to do? Well obv you're not going to bet, because you know he has a hand, so he'll call you, so instead you bet.
Now I've played a lot and a lot (probably over 300,000) hands of online poker in the last few years, and I see this exact proccess the entire time. Players take 1 shot at the pot when you show weakness. And when you show strength again, they freeze up. So if after you call his turn bet, he fires on the river, he really really will have your KK beat 95+% of the time. (NOTE: if you are playing vs an aggresive/bluffy player, you should also check the flop, but you should just call the river as well as the turn)
OK, so I really hope I've now shown you why checking is so so so much better if we're ahead. What thought if we're behind? What if he has Ax? Then obviously we want to put as little money in the pot as possible and obviously we want to see as many cards as possible so that we can hit our king. So, what flop action accomplishes these two tasks best, betting or checking?
Lets follow the hand through: lets say we check the flop and he bets $7 or w/e on the turn and we call. We have now paid $7 and seen both the turn and river cards and are very close to showdown. What if we decided to bet $7 on teh flop though? He can C/R us and we have paid $7 and seen no more cards! or maybe he will call and lead the turn, and again we have paid $7 and just seen 1 more card. OR VERY BEST CASE, maybe he just call AND checks turn and then obv we check. THEN we see the turn and river for just $7. But even that best case, is just the normal case if we check the flop!
So, to conclude, the reasons why checking flops in position with WA/WB hands like this are:
We induce bets from worse hands
We see all the cards for the same price
For metagame for the times we check here with a set
Because we get to showdown with more ease
Because we are less predictable (we don't just bet flop no matter what....we keep our opponent guessing)
We still gain information, just by simlpe knowledge of how people bluff