This is a discussion on Overbetting the River for Value within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; Overbetting the River for Value
What is overbetting?
Overbetting is betting bigger than pot.
Why do it?
Just like any other bet, you should overbet for 2 main
Just like any other bet, you should overbet for 2 main reasons.
Reason 1 - For value. Make worse hands call.
Reason 2 - As a bluff. Make better hands fold.
What is some bet size math i could use?
A basic guideline on how big your bet has to be in order to break even is as follows.
For example if the pot is $100 and you bet 50% pot ($50) you need him to fold 33% of the time to break even. 50/(100+50) = 33%.
As you can see, the bigger your bet, the more successful you have to be if bluffing. If you want to overbet bluff the river for 150% pot, the villain will have to fold at least 60% of the time for you to profit. We will see later how often villains fold to various sized river bets.
Why not overbet the river as a bluff?
At the micros i highly recommend not overbetting as a bluff. Because of the lack of fold equity and the lack of players being able to read hands, your chances of getting someone to fold is much less likely than you need in order to be profitable.
Even though mathematically we can show profit by getting them to fold as you will see later where i post screen shots of my success rates, its not worth the variance. Most of the time it will be better to give up or bluff smaller.
There is also no need to balance. No one is going to pick up that you overbet only for value. Most players play their cards and if the cards match the board strong enough, they will call regardless of bet size.
When should I overbet the river for value?
When you have a strong hand that is ahead of the villain's range and you think the villain also has a strong hand, you can overbet. If the villain has a weak hand based on the post flop actions, its better to bet smaller as he will fold far too often to an overbet.
How successful is overbetting the river?
The following tables are filtered out so i only have value hands and when i bet the river with various sizes.
This is betting 3/4 pot on the river (75-89% pot).
This is when i pot the river (90-100% pot).
This table is when i overbet the river (101-149%).
This is when i bet 1.5x pot or more.
Analysis As you can see from the tables, my won $ at showdown is high for all situations. The reason that it is less successful when i bet 1.5x+ the pot is because it will isolate their calling range more to their strongest of hands than if i bet pot. They will fold more medium and medium-strong hands and end up calling with better hands at a higher frequency. This however should not hinder you from overbetting. Its still very very profitable in the long run.
My saw showdown is on average 39% when i overbet so the villains will fold their hand about 61% of the time. As you can see when i bet 75-100% pot i get folds about 63% of the time. That is a very small difference and with the money i win by overbetting, it massively makes up the 2% difference when they fold.
What should i look for when overbetting?
When you are thinking about overbetting, there are certain things you need to look for before you bet. They are:
1. Your hand strength. You need to have a strong hand if you are going to overbet for value. When overbetting you isolate their calling range to the strongest of their hands. So in order for you to profit, you need to beat that range.
2. Is the villain capable of calling overbets. Some players will fold everything but the nuts to an overbet. You need to determine based on the players stats and tendancies if he is likely to call an overbet. Usually nitty players wont call an overbet without a very nutted hand. Very loose bad players will gladly call an overbet with any top pair. There is not clear way to know if anyone is capable but usually the bad players are the most capable and the good regs and nits can fold.
3. Did the board texture come out in a way that would likely have improved his hand. If the turn and river go brick brick and its unlikely the villain improved, then it would be not a good spot to overbet as they will be folding very often. If the turn and river came out connecting the board but still leaving you with a very strong hand, then its a better spot to overbet as they most likely improved to 2 pair or better.
What should i do vs an overbet on the river?
I recommend folding to river overbets by default. One reason is if we are hero calling, we have to be successful far more often than if it was a 3/4 bet. The times they are bluffing are tiny compared to the times they will overbet for value so odds are we wont be nearly as successful as we need to be.
Overbets will almost always be fat value bets so we should limit our calling range to the very tip top of our range until proven otherwise.
Overbetting the river is a great tool to get maximum value from players who were going to call regardless of bet size. Why not bet more if they were going to call anyways right?
Mathematically it doesnt need to work much more often than a normal pot size bet but when it does you get a ton more value.
Try it out in your game and dont get upset if it doesnt work for you the first time, keep doing it in the right situations and you will end up showing more profit than if you never did it at all.
If you have any feedback or add ons feel free to post them.
Thanks for your time and go out there and make some money!
7th March 2012, 6:13 PM
Online Poker at: pacific
Some good overbetting spots
Here are some hand examples to illustrate a variety of situations where overbetting will be successful in the long run.
Villain is 33/5 over 21 hands. We dont know much about him. Based on the postflop action we can assume we are ahead. By the time the river comes there are a lot of 2 pair combos of hands that we beat. Its true a back door flush can and back door straight but those combos are much less likely. So by the river we most likely have the best hand and want to value bet. I advocate shoving because based on the info we have, the villain is more likely to make bad calls based on his passive preflop nature and based on the board outcome, there are a lot of 2pr combos, namely AK and KQ.
Villain is 62/20 over 370 hands. I call because of implied odds vs his overall range and its likely he will pay me off enough if i hit my draw.
On the river i decide to shove because this type of player can make bad calls and his range is so wide that he can connect with this very wet flop in a lot of ways. He folded but that doesnt mean i made a mistake. You wont be successful every time but you will be successful plenty enough to make it very profitable.
Villain is 65/19 over 109 hands. When he calls AK4A there is a very good chance that he has an Ax hand. There are some draws but these players play every Ax hand so when the river comes a blank i think its best to shove because they will call with any Ax and we beat most and all missed draws are going to fold regardless of what we bet. So lets get max value if he is going to have an inelastic calling range.
Villain is 19/16 over 200 hands. Because of the way he played his hand, it looks a lot like a flush draw. When we hit on the river i think its an easy overbet. Theres only a handful of better hands he will call with and a big draw got there that i still beat.
Villain is 26/21 over 400 hands. I have the board crushed on all streets. When he x back the turn and the river is a blank there is a very unlikely chance he has anything. Instead of overbetting and getting folds 99% of the time, i think a small bet to get a weak 1 pair hand or maybe even A high to call which is the majority of his made hand range. Most of his hands are air so i expected a lot of folds here.
Villain is 41/19 over 650 hands. Based on board texture and lack of aggression in the pot its unlikely he has anything. If i bet big here i will only get calls from better or chops. I want to get max value and in this spot its better to bet small to get A high, 4x, and pairs to call me.
Villain is 25/20 over 1.1k hands. I x back the flop because im way ahead or way behind here. When he doesnt lead the turn i go for value and he calls. On the river its most likely he has a big pair and less likely an Ax hand. So in order for me to get max value i go for a half pot bet because with 2 aces on the flop and me xing it back its less likely i have an Ax hand. Also i price him in more to call with JJ-KK. If i shoved here i would only get called by better.
Villain is 24/19 over 2k hands. When he leads out the turn, he could have any 2 cards and i call so he can still bluff on the river. If i raise here he will be folding way too often. On the river he x it to me so i doubt he has anything so i want to get max value and go for a 2/3 pot bet hoping he had some kind of Qx or TT type hand. I bet about 2/3 but i shouldve bet smaller i think.
Villain is 21/19 over 200 hands. When he raises the flop and x the turn its unlikely he has anything and was just bluffing the flop. So on the river i try to extract some value by betting about half pot. Its very unlikely he has anything here but we will get the odd call from Jx.
Nice post. Its cool of you to give such detailed insight to your thought process, as well as putting the time in to make these posts!!!! Thanks.
I do have one critique, however.....
Where is the "101"???
8th March 2012, 10:35 AM
Poker at: Stars
oh so you did it?
8th March 2012, 11:37 AM
Online Poker at: Full Tilt
There's so much clearly wrong with this thread but I'll try to sum it up quickly:
Your betsizing on all streets should be aimed at extracting value based on your equity (fold equity or pot equity), opponent's range and calling/folding frequencies.
There are certainly times to overbet shove the river with the nuts but you have to consider what your range is for getting to the river this way and how strong your opponent's range is.
For example, say you have AA on BTN, tight villain raises UTG and you 3-bet, he flats pre, you are 200 BBs deep. Villain is going to always reraise his sets and draws. You are in position and bet all the way and river top set, which is the nuts, on a J93r 6 A board. He c/c all the way from the BB. His range is almost entirely 1 pair hands, generally Jx/QQ-KK. The river card is great because it gives us the nuts but it's terrible for his range, which is mostly folding but may call a smaller bet. Overbetting here is setting money on fire.
Also you should consider whether or not you can play exploitatively vs. this villain because he is a fish and will never adjust or if this is a competent/good reg against him you play all the time. If you are never bluffing in a certain spot you should consider if overbetting is going to be the right play.
Lastly, if someone's range for bluffshoving the river is weighted toward air/busted draws, you should certainly hero call with a pretty high frequency.
8th March 2012, 12:50 PM
Poker at: Pokerstars
your value good spots simply are never getting called by worse, overbetting for value but overbet shoving those spots is ridiculous (the 5s hand for example, he's just folding Kx/underpairs if he has 2p he's raising the turn, the shove probs even folds out KQ as you're deep. I wouldnt mind betting like 35ish, villians usually arent calling overbet shoves in spots here with hands that beat us like they woul be worried of flushes/JT which are obviously near impossible but they cant hand read so probs fold to a shove but snap off like 35
the hand examples look like, I have a good hand vs a fish, arr in not actually contructing ranges
the 9s hand I wouldnt mind an overbet for value as there's a fair amount of busted draws and our line looks FOS, bet bigger with KQ he's still going to look you up with weaker pairs, never does with A high and chops....really ?
also overbet bluffing > overbetting for value
16th March 2012, 8:16 PM
Online Poker at: ACR
re: Poker & Overbetting the River for Value
im not much of a fan on shoving on the river when you got the nuts. experienced players fold easily. Why not value ur nuts with a bet that you're sure to get reraised or called upon? Overbetting your nuts loses money most of the time...if u know the guy is like the biggest ****ing calling station, then all means go and shove!!! but if you're up against someone who is not an idiot...then don't play like an idiot. just my opinion.
16th March 2012, 9:54 PM
Every hand I am thinking how can I get the most value for this... overbetting the river, for the most part, is contrary to that goal.