You donk, you bet a draw!!!
This is written for newer players who either play all draws passively or are frustrated by agg players who play draws aggressively. The general thinking is, I think, that we don't have a made hand, so why would we put money in the pot/be aggressive?
The below example is from PLO - but it illustrates an idea that I thought'd be useful for newer NLHE players. Villain (BTN) flops the nut straight with no redraws - in other words, Villain has the best possible hand on the flop, but cannot improve to a better hand. Hero flops a 17 card wrap straight draw (i.e., any 6, 7, T, J, or Q makes Hero a straight) and a backdoor flush draw (i.e., runner/runner clubs) making Hero, on the flop without a made hand, a 62/38 favorite over Villain. Villain raises Hero's flop bet, and Hero happilly pushes to get all in. Of course, 38% of the time that Hero does this, he's going to lose $23.65, but 62% of the time Hero's going to win the pot against the flopped nuts - pretty nice, right?
The key ideas here are that we're getting it in without a made hand purely based on the possibility of hitting one of our outs, and that we're actually a heavy favorite to win the pot against a hand that is the nuts on the flop.
The Official DeucesCracked.com Hand History Converter
Hero (MP): $26.90
Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is MP with Jd Qc 7c Td
UTG calls $0.25, Hero calls $0.25
, CO calls $0.25, BTN calls $0.25
, SB calls $0.15, BB checks
Flop: ($1.50) 5c 8h 9d (6 players)
SB checks, BB checks, UTG checks, Hero bets $0.90
, CO folds, BTN raises to $4.15
, SB folds, BB folds, UTG folds, Hero raises to $13.90, BTN raises to $23.40 all in, Hero calls $9.50
Turn: ($48.30) Ts (2 players - 1 is all in)
River: ($48.30) 8c (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: $48.30
shows Jd Qc 7c Td (a straight, Eight to Queen)
mucks 7s 4s 6s 2c
It's rare in NLHE, though, to get those massive combo draws. Here's a big combo draw - we've got 8c7c on a 9c6c2d flop, giving us a straight flush draw. We're 54.44% favorites over AA on this flop, 51% favorites against two pair hands, and only a 42% dog to 99 and a 43% dog to AcKc, the two worst hands for us to be up against. Change the flop to 9c6d2c, giving us a combo draw (a flush draw and a straight draw, but not a straight flush draw). We're now a 53.9% favorite over AA and a 48% dog to two pair hands, and now are a 40% dog to a set and a 35% dog to AcKc. The edges are slimmer, and we're up against hands where we can be a serious dog in the combo draw scenario.
In NLHE, though, we've also got fold equity - FE isn't as much of a factor in PLO, but it's a huge potential factor in NLHE. By betting, you're giving Villain the opportunity to fold his weaker made hands (say, second pair or TPMK) because of the threat that you'll continue betting on the next street (this is called leverage). And if you hit your draw by the river, you can go to showdown having "sucked out" on the guy who called down w second pair.
Then there's the pot equity - this is the chance your hand will be good at showdown against Villain's range of hands relative to the amount of money you have to keep putting into the pot to get to showdown (i.e., above, the % chance your hand has of winning relative to the amount of money in the pot). This is why playing suited and/or connected cards in position is so important - you can continue being aggressive when the turn adds outs to your hand.
As an example, let's say you 3bet from the button w Ac3c and the cutoff calls you. Flop is Tc6d2h, which misses you, but you cbet anyhow cuz it probably missed the cutoff, and he calls. Turn is a 4c - our hand wasn't worth anything other than a cbet a minute ago, but now we've got 12 outs to a probable nut hand - 9 for the flush and the other 3 fives - and the three remaining A's may make our hand. We can continue being aggressive and represent a big hand here - if he folds cuz of the heat, we're happy, and if he calls, we've got a decent number of outs, so we're still happy. He'll be a little ticked off when a 5 hits the river and yell at us in chat "You donk!", but we'll be happy taking his money.
Adding your fold equity and pot equity, and using leverage to increase fold equity, allows you to be more aggressive and to take more frequent pots.
If you haven't already, try plugging in various drawing hands into Pokerstove and checking how they do against various made hands (i.e., top pair, sets, two pair, etc.) - you may be surprised by the amount of equity you can have, and the amount of overall equity you have when you add fold equity and pot equity together.
Remember, aggression is good!
gl and see you on the felt.