Betting in the river

Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
The river is a very special street. In the river all the hands are made, there aren´t any chances of improving a hand. And that´s why on this round of betting there are just value bets or bluffs. The strategies of betting on this street varies of the ones in earlier streets. I want to share my ideas of betting on the river on particular situations, and i hope you do the same (give your ideas on the same situations i´m going to say or add another situations):

1.- Betting with medium strenght hands with just 1 opponent left: When you hold a medium strenght hand, NEVER bet. Why? It´s very simple. If you bet and your opponent holds a weaker hand, he´s going to fold. But if you check instead of betting, you´re going to beat him anyway in the showdown.
If you bet and your opponent holds a stronger hand than yours, he´s going to call or raise, so in any case you´re going to lose money. But if you check instead of betting, he´s going to bet and you just have to fold without losing any chips.
Of course if your opponent holds a weaker hand than yours and you check, you´re allowing him to try to steal the pot, and there is where you have to know if he´s making a value bet or just bluffing. And that strategie also may change depending on the position, so that "NEVER" is a bit modifiable, but take it as a general rule.

2.- Betting with medium strenght hands in a multi-way pot: lets say there are 3 players in the pot (you and other 2). In the flop and the turn you made some bets with top trips top kicker and the two players called down to the river. You realize that in the flop there were 2 consecutive cards and in the river the straight possibility is completed, so maybe one of the 2 players where chasing it and they caught it. That straight possibility makes your hand a medium-strenght one. What should you do? There are different cases depending on the position:
a) You´re first to act: In my opinion you should check. Why? Because of the same reasons of the first situation.
b) You´re second to act and the first player bets: Obviously it depends on the bet, but if it´s a normal bet i think you should call. Since you made bets on earlier streets, you invested too much money to lay down your trips. If you call, maybe the player next to you will also call. Your hand will beat anything except the straight, so if you call and the other player calls, it´s good. But if you call and the next player raises, you have to worry about the straight.
But the point is not raising. If you raise, the players that don´t have the straight will fold, so you may lose one caller that you wanted to call. And also there exists the risk of the reraise. In that case you probably have to fold losing some chips.
c) You´re second to act and the first player checks: Also check for the same reasons of situation 1. You can also bet to test the water but i recommend to check.
d) You´re last to act, the first player bets and the second folds: Depends on your read on him and the size of the pot, but i think you should call or maybe fold.
e) You´re last to act, the first player bets and the second calls: Is the same as the "You´re second to act and the first player bets" situation.
f) You´re last to act, both players check: Check, for the same reason of situation 1, unless you know that if bet you will get a stupid caller with something low like pair.

3.- Betting with the nuts made on a river draw (straight or flush) against 1 player: There are just two different cases depending on the position.
a) You have position: It obvious. Bet and raise. You have the nuts and you need to get as more chips as you can.
b) You´re out of position: You have two options, check-raise or bet.
b.1) Check-raise: when you should check raise? I think the biggest factor is the opponent´s style. If he´s aggressive, go for the check-raise. Your opponent may bluff representing the flush, which he doesn´t know you hit because of your check.
b.2) Bet: If your opponent is passive, bet. Probably you will obtain the same as if you check there, but if you bet and he folds you can know if that player get scared when there is an obvious draw, so you can take that in advantage and bluff in future rivers.


p.s: Of course i know that every situation i mentioned may change depending of lots of factors. There is a lot information that you may need in order to make a decision, but i cannot give all the different factors of every different situation. I know poker is a game of situations, so all the strategies that i gave are general ones.

p.s.2: Please tell me if you don´t agree with any of my strategies. It´s better if you don´t agree than if you agree, because in that way i can learn from more experienced players. But if you don´t agree, please tell your point of view of what you think is the best strategie.

p.s.3: Today is chile´s National day. Because of that i have 1 week vacation, so i´ll be more active here the next week.
 
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robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
Can't really pick any holes in this Jesus (apart from the fact it's strength, not strenght!). Agree that there's no real point betting on the river if you think you're beat - If i've called bets down to the river, sometimes i'll bet first on the river if i think my opponent would have bet anyway, to try and make him think I have hit big hand and make him fold - it doesn't really work though, and of course he could always re-raise costing you an extra bet. I wouldn't fold though if you had medium hand and opponent bet after you have checked - if you have chance of winning, pot odds will justify one more call (n.b i'm assuming this is limit - obviously no-limit is much more reliant on size of bets). Of course, when you call, your opponent will show the hand you thought he would have had, but you only need to win a low percentage of these to make calling worthwhile in long run.

3 way same - opponents are even less likely to fold potentially winning hands rather than pay one extra bet, so no point giving them more if you dont have to.

3rd question as you said is 50/50. I've tended to check hoping for additional bet from opponent, but this rarely seems to work, so maybe bet? As you know, some people will call with Ace high on river, regardless of how much you've bet.

As I said, NL there's more scope to take down pots with 2nd best hand.

Is this your entry for "best post of the month" competition? Good luck, and happy holiday.
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
robwhufc said:
Agree that there's no real point betting on the river if you think you're beat
I didn´t talk about if you think you´re beat, because maybe you can have K high but you think your opponent has something like low pair and you can try to bluff. I´m talking that there´s no point in betting with medium strenght ...sorry...medium strength hands. You may think there that you´re the winner or maybe the loser. With a medium strength hand you´re quite unsure of were are you standing, and that´s why you shouldn´t bet in the river. Because if you´re the winner you will obtain the same by checking or betting, and if you´re the loser you will lose nothing if you check but you can lose something if you bet.

robwhufc said:
I wouldn't fold though if you had medium hand and opponent bet after you have checked - if you have chance of winning, pot odds will justify one more call (n.b i'm assuming this is limit - obviously no-limit is much more reliant on size of bets)
You´re right. And that´s why the type of game and the position is important on these strategies. If you realized i assumed that if you check and your opponent holds a weak hand he will also check, but that doesn´t happen all the time. The bluff is an option so you have to be careful.
As you said, folding in the river with a medium strength hand maybe is not the correct option (if you have serious doubt about your opponent´s hand), because you have the chance of winning and also if you lose you can obtain information from your opponent.

robwhufc said:
3rd question as you said is 50/50. I've tended to check hoping for additional bet from opponent, but this rarely seems to work, so maybe bet? As you know, some people will call with Ace high on river, regardless of how much you've bet.
You´re right. If you´re playing at low limits you can see lots of players calling in the river with crap, so against those players the correct option would be the bet. But you have to realize if the player you´re against is a calling station or is an aggressive maniac. If it´s a calling station station, bet. If it´s an aggressive maniac, check (in hope of him bluffing).

robwhufc said:
Is this your entry for "best post of the month" competition?
No, the competion is "best poster of the month". Anyway i´m not trying to win that, i wrote this because i think i would be interesting (which is obviously not). And even if i try i don´t think i would win it (my last two threads had been a disaster).

p.s: There are lots of situations depending of the position and kind of game, so try to add some.
 
t1riel

t1riel

Legend
I think a lot of upcoming poker players on here can benefit greatly by reading these tips. It's very detailed and situation oriented. Note that fact that the actions yo should take differ depending on what position you're in. It's hard to disagree with what's here except maybe go with your gut instinct from time to time. This a great guideline but sonner or later you have to mix up your play, especially in a sit n go or a ring table, where other players who will play agisnst you for a long time becuase eventually they will see your pattern of play and use it to their advantage. But overall, this is how you should play it. Great post!
 
trentonlf

trentonlf

Guest
1. never bet with a medium strength hand with one person in pot with you. Ill agree somewhat as it will depend on how the betting went on the flop and turn. If im in a hand that i have aggresively bet pre flop, flop, and turn and then i all of a sudden check the river the other person will know i dont have a great hand and is going to try and bet me out so in that instance i would still bet.

2. If im in last position and i am checked too i might bet to see if they do fold, even if they have hit runner runner(and i will know that when they check raise me then i would probally fold depending on person im up against), and the reason i say this is if they are playing Ace rag or something along those lines they will more than likely call to see if i was bluffing.

3. Having the Nuts on the river, well it seems to me that a Check raise would be best in most situations unless as you mentioned you are up against a passive opponent as they will more than likely check it anyway.


g/l
 
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