Originally Posted by joosebuck
if you dont bet draws aggressively you are missing out on a lot of money.
Okay, now I would like to explain my logic a bit better. And you can tell me where my logic is flawed, and maybe explain.. with facts, why it's not a good strategy.
Betting a draw:
As I see it in most instances you're going to have about 30%-35% to hit your draw off the flop, depending on your draw (up/down or double-belly-buster straight, or flush draw). Now, how do you bet this... probably the most logical way would be to bet around the size of the pot to represent a big hand. Ok, a few things can happen.
a) everyone folds.. you win the pre-flop money
This is not a bad case.. you take down the hand and don't have to worry about not hitting the draw. This will most likely happen if your opponents have completely missed the flop. So checking would have been just letting them improve their hands... so not a bad idea if you think your opponents have all missed.. unless you know them to be "calling stations". This really is about the only profitable scenario in the long run.. if you are good at reading players, then your betting here is a good idea.
b) you get a call.. you are definitely behind in the hand
If this happens, you know you're behind in the hand and must proceed cautiously. If you hit the draw on the turn then you're in good shape. If not, you have to decide how to proceed. You can try and steal the pot with another bet, or you can hope that your opponent fears the check/raise and will let you see a free card at which point you've either hit the draw, or you try and bluff, or you give up the hand. If you are good at stealing pots, then this can be a profitable scenario.
c) you get re-raised.. decision time
Here you're really faced with a decision... can i bluff my way out of this thing if I don't hit? If you're confident in being able to out-play your opponent this could be a good scenario (provided the guy hasn't hit a monster). Most likely the player has a strong hand and will continue to be aggressive on the hand. I would say most of the time you face this situation any more money you put in the pot is going to be a gift to the other player, unless you hit.. but as you're only going to do that 30%-35% of the time, this is not a very profitable scenario. Cut your losses and fold to the re-raise.
So, I would argue that betting a draw is a LOSING method, unless you are prepared to out-play your opponents. If you think you can steal the pot more than 50% of the time, then this definitely CAN be profitable.
The only exception would be that you bet to keep the pot-odds in your favor, however.. this is a tough thing to do.. especially when up against a Top Pair type of hand.
Check/Calling a draw:
a) you get the pot-odds to call.. you call
Calling with the pot odds in your favor will be profitable in the long run. Off the flop it's a little different, because you have to worry about implied odds. You may call me a conservative player but, I don't worry too much about implied odds (especially at lower limits). I take the odds 1-shot whether I'm off the flop or the turn. If I have the odds to call for one card, I'll call. IE, I don't count a flush draw as 35% off the flop, I count it as 19%.
b) you don't get the pot-odds to call... you don't call
If you call here, you are losing money in the long-run.. not a good idea.
Now even if you check the draw, you are still setting yourself up to be able to bluff. Your play indicates to your opponents that you are either on a draw, or you are slow-playing. A check-raise in this situation can win you the pot.. and even if it doesn't, you still have outs.
Okay so that's my theory on the different ways to play draws. I'd really like to know what other people think.. if my logic is flawed somewhere? Maybe something I haven't thought about? Or maybe the whole thing is just a philosophical difference? I will tell you this though, the way I play my draws has steadily won me money.. maybe I could have made more, but I also could have lost a lot more. So anyway, let me know! And err.. serious analysis, facts, and theories please! If I'm wrong, I'd like to know why