Originally Posted by Lafayette2
My first goal to bet is to win the pot
If i value bet its to see where I stand, leading to my goal of winning the pot.
If I bluff, its because i think i can win the pot, not necessarly because i want them to fold. its because sometimes if you're aggressive enough you can force people to fold. Yes!
Last man standing. Was gonna say best hands win but that isnot always the case. Nor best played hands.
These are common misconceptions about betting.
1. Betting to win the pot - you want to maximize the ROI value of your bets. Betting because you have the best hand, for example, is not a good reason to bet. If you flop a royal flush (extreme example), the only reason to bet is because you hope a worse hand will call - otherwise, betting is a moot point, you pick up the pot with the unbreakable nuts, which will happen whether you bet or not. Make the example less extreme - you hold 55, and flop A53. Now you bet hoping that Ax/53/54/32 will call. Of course, there's a chance that the turn and/or river will make someone a better hand, which sucks - but on the flop, you absolutely want to have a worse hand call, or you will not maximize the value of your flopped set.
2. Value betting for information - I opened a hand today in MP holding AQo and was called by BTN. Flop was QcTs3s. I value bet 3/4 pot (my hand is the best the majority of the time, so I'm betting for value) and was minraised. What information did I obtain? Well, it helped me narrow BTN's range of hands quite a bit - he could have a set/AQ/KQ/QJ/QT/Q3/KJ/J9/flush draws/gutshots/a couple of weird Tx/complete air. I'm sure he never does this w AA or KK (would've 3bet pf). What should I do with that information?
My point here is that the information I received from my value bet doesn't tell me what to do. The reason for my value bet was to get worse hands to call - now I have to decide if my hand has good enough equity to continue to the raise. (fwiw, he had KsQs - I still have the best hand, but he's got good equity against my hand)
3. If you're bluffing, you absolutely want people to fold. That's what a bluff is. If you don't want people to fold, then you're not bluffing, you're value betting. You can semi-bluff - where you have a good equity hand that currently is not likely best, but can improve to being best, like a flush draw - but when you're semi-bluffing, you need people to fold a significant amount of the time to make it a profitable play.
wetyeti brings up an excellent point - we do not necessarily always want to be called by hands that have good equity (say, a combo draw) even if we're currently ahead, but are unlikely to further improve. This is the case where we can't rebuy and the pot represents a significant portion of our stack.