Good Hand to Donk / Cbet OOP?

ventrolloquist

ventrolloquist

Visionary
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Total posts
647
Sometimes playing against players who c bet their entire range on dry flops I find myself donking middle pairs.

For example: 742r I would donk pocket 66's for about half pot, partly to build value and partly to deny equity. Is this a bad move? My logic is this. First of all, it's unlikely a flop such as this connects with their range well. 2nd of all, if I check, they will cbet putting me in a tough situation, then if I fold vs. their cbet I may be folding vs. air. If I check-call though I'm allowing him to continue, and the opponent's higher pocket cards may easily improve vs. my low pair because half the deck is higher than my 6's. And even if he doesn't improve he's got half the deck that he can use as bluff / scare cards on this board. Also, I don't think a check raise is right here given how many chips I risk vs. simply leading? Or can it be?

So the question is this, is it better to check-call here? Or to take the lead lead and go for fold equity/equity denial?

On the contrary if I was preflop aggressor I assume c-betting pocket 66's here out of position is appropriate to deny equity to opponents broadway's and higher cards?
 
Last edited:
Aballinamion

Aballinamion

Visionary
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Total posts
834
donk bet for value

Sometimes playing against players who c bet their entire range on dry flops I find myself donking middle pairs.

For example: 742r I would donk pocket 66's for about half pot, partly to build value and partly to deny equity. Is this a bad move? My logic is this. First of all, it's unlikely a flop such as this connects with their range well. 2nd of all, if I check, they will cbet putting me in a tough situation, then if I fold vs. their cbet I may be folding vs. air. If I check-call though I'm allowing him to continue, and the opponent's higher pocket cards may easily improve vs. my low pair because half the deck is higher than my 6's. And even if he doesn't improve he's got half the deck that he can use as bluff / scare cards on this board. Also, I don't think a check raise is right here given how many chips I risk vs. simply leading? Or can it be?

So the question is this, is it better to check-call here? Or to take the lead lead and go for fold equity/equity denial?

On the contrary if I was preflop aggressor I assume c-betting pocket 66's here out of position is appropriate to deny equity to opponents broadway's and higher cards?

Hi there ventrolloquist, good evening, thank you for sharing your question, very interesting one.
I don't know if makes a huge difference to donk bet versus players who c-bet their entire range on the flop. What we should know is how often our opponent is going to fold to a donk bet.
I don't know if a mid-low flop such as 742 rainbow is a good candidate for donk-betting, because we have no stacks and positions. What if you are in the BB, called preflop and your adversary has A7s, K7s, Q7s, J7s from the BTN it is going to fold? (at the micros?)
And if our adversary missed the flop and we donk-bet our pocket 6's are we not going to miss value, because now the opponent will not bluff its A's high, K's high?

When do I donk-bet the flop?

Example 1:

micro-stakes, 2 NLHE, 6-Max
comes in gap and Loose Aggressive Kid opens from the Cut-off 3 blinds, folds, folds and we are in the BB with Jc8c and we decide to defend/call because we know the Loose Aggressive Kid is sticky and it is not going to leave its equity easy.

Pot: 6 blinds
Flop: Ac3c9c

Here is a spot where we can make a donk-bet of 1/2 pot, 2/3 pot even 3/4 pot or 100% pot.
Because we know that if our opponent has an ace in a situation like this is not going to leave. So we donk-bet flop for 3/4 and the Loose Aggressive Kid in the CO calls.
Turn is a blank and we decide to send another barrel, because we know that our villain is most likely to have called with an Ace, and it is not going to leave it easily or hardly, so we send another bomb in the turn to put our opponent all-in river.
Loose Aggressive Kid calls a fair barrel in the turn and in the River we send all-in an it calls showing AsKc, with TPTK.
We donk bet at the micros when we know that we have a better hand than Villain and that Villain is not going to fold this hand easily. For example you called with AK out of position hits TPTK and donks, because you are certain that if Villain has AQ and AJ it is going to pay you at least one street of value.

Example 2:

micro-stakes, 5 NLHE, 6-Max
We are in the BB with 55 and a Nitty player who opens only 8% from UTG raises and we call because when we hit a set it will be hard for the nitty to lay down its cards.
UTG raises 3x, folds, folds, folds, folds and we call

we are heads-up, pot is 6 blinds
Flop: 5cTd7h

Again, we make a donk-bet for value here, betting 2/3 pot, 3/4 pot or even pot, because we know that the Nitty player might have some Tx in its range and it is not going to leave, because even if UTG has AK and AQ that missed it will be hard to leave, and if the Nitty player has 88, 99, JJ, QQ, KK and AA we are going to extract a lot of value from it because the Nitty player is not going to lay down his aces or kings, for nothing in this world. His middle pocket pairs it might leave in the turn or river, but even so we can extract a decent ammount of value.

Summarizing, in my personal gameplan, I elect to donk-bet more for value! I elect to donk-bet 90% for value and 10% with semi-bluffs such as gutshots, OESD's and Flush-Draws.
What do I see? A great part of the field believes that any kind of flop where we hit some equity we should be putting money in the middle.
So we see players that hits a gutshot in the flop and donks, players that hit an OESD in the flop and donks and the same goes for flush-draws. It is very complicated when we do this against a player who is barely thinking about ranges.
Because if we raise too much, or bet too much our draws in the flop, we are going start to suffer a lot of 3-bets and raises for value and we will not be able to continue, when we donks flop with a flush draw, for example, and Villain re-raises us.
I also don't love check-raising a lot of draws because it is too much obvious and great part of the field acts like this when they hit a good draw in the flop. I am not even betting 100% of my draws in position, as many players do, they use to C-Bet and Raise almost 100% of their draws, and by doing this action, we are representing nothing, we are opening doors for more experient players to exploit us, and we can never balance our value/bluff range doing this.
Because when we donk-bet or raise a draw we are trying to represent the nuts or a very strong hand, where many players will note that you have no nuts for doing so. The nuts is not going to raise very much for the risk of the opponent leaves hands that are beat, and the value hand also will not be donking or raising, otherwise we would be turning a value hand into a bluff.
When the flop/turn is connected and we bet it is most likely that villain will think that we have two pair, a set and we are trying to protect it from some turns/rivers. But when we don't have it, we gotta be ready to sustain pressure and fold a lot to aggression.

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
F

fundiver199

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Total posts
10,262
Awards
1
I don’t think, donk betting in that spot is particularly great, and I would also not C-bet, if I was the preflop aggressor and got called by someone with position on me. If we bet in this spot, its typically mainly to get worse hands to fold, and that is usually not a good enough reason to bet. We simply allow the opponent to play a little to close to perfect calling us with all better hands and strong draws, and folding everything else.

When we are out of position with a weak pair like 66, we simply need to accept, that we will not always be able to get to showdown. Sometimes we will be beat, and other times the opponent will get away with a bluff. And that is ok. It is not our goal to be someone, who cannot be bluffed. A lot of the value from a hand like 66 comes from flopping sets, so its ok to lose most of the time, when we don’t.

That does not mean, I am always check-folding on the flop. Especially against someone, who C-bet a lot, you have to call at least once. Sometimes you will actually improve to a set, or maybe pick up a straight draw on the turn. And other times he will check back. Nobody C-bet turn and river 100% of the time. So now and then you will actually be able to pay off one bet with a weak pair, get to showdown and be good.
 
Aballinamion

Aballinamion

Visionary
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Total posts
834
I don’t think, donk betting in that spot is particularly great, and I would also not C-bet, if I was the preflop aggressor and got called by someone with position on me. If we bet in this spot, its typically mainly to get worse hands to fold, and that is usually not a good enough reason to bet. We simply allow the opponent to play a little to close to perfect calling us with all better hands and strong draws, and folding everything else.

When we are out of position with a weak pair like 66, we simply need to accept, that we will not always be able to get to showdown. Sometimes we will be beat, and other times the opponent will get away with a bluff. And that is ok. It is not our goal to be someone, who cannot be bluffed. A lot of the value from a hand like 66 comes from flopping sets, so its ok to lose most of the time, when we don’t.

That does not mean, I am always check-folding on the flop. Especially against someone, who C-bet a lot, you have to call at least once. Sometimes you will actually improve to a set, or maybe pick up a straight draw on the turn. And other times he will check back. Nobody C-bet turn and river 100% of the time. So now and then you will actually be able to pay off one bet with a weak pair, get to showdown and be good.

Very good points and observations, thank you very much for it. I totally agree. If we see that our opponent is a "look-up artist" (players who C-bet flop, or Call C-bet flop just to see how would/will you react, and then fold a thousand of turns. They usually C-bet or Call many C-bets flop to fold a lot of turns, so in this case it is a great idea not to play the hand at all (66, AK, XY, it doesn't matter, but the ability to make this kind of opponent folds to pressure in many turns and rivers, and hands such as pocket pairs can still draw from time to time to sets, runner-runners flushes and straights, etc This is why I am never bluffing at the micros with absolute air. I always like to bluff having some equity or showdown value, and a pocket 66 or drawing connected cards might be in handy versus this artist player).
This profile of Look-Up artist I learned by reading Polished Poker Vol 1, in which we have a thread here in the forum: https://www.cardschat.com/forum/cash-games-11/polished-poker-vol-i-study-group-227214//

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
tauri103

tauri103

Legend
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Total posts
2,144
usually when I have a good stack. I prefer chek call with a middle pair when I haven't hit the flop and play one more card. but on a favorable flop. I prefer to continue my aggression and force my opponent to fold AK or AQ style hands. of course, several factors can make me wait for a better spot and just play this hand without taking any risks.
 
JBGoode

JBGoode

Rock Star
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Total posts
481
Sometimes playing against players who c bet their entire range on dry flops I find myself donking middle pairs.

For example: 742r I would donk pocket 66's for about half pot, partly to build value and partly to deny equity. Is this a bad move? My logic is this. First of all, it's unlikely a flop such as this connects with their range well. 2nd of all, if I check, they will cbet putting me in a tough situation, then if I fold vs. their cbet I may be folding vs. air. If I check-call though I'm allowing him to continue, and the opponent's higher pocket cards may easily improve vs. my low pair because half the deck is higher than my 6's. And even if he doesn't improve he's got half the deck that he can use as bluff / scare cards on this board. Also, I don't think a check raise is right here given how many chips I risk vs. simply leading? Or can it be?

So the question is this, is it better to check-call here? Or to take the lead lead and go for fold equity/equity denial?

On the contrary if I was preflop aggressor I assume c-betting pocket 66's here out of position is appropriate to deny equity to opponents broadway's and higher cards?
I agree that this board texture is great to donk out with, but I look at it slightly differently. If Vil is Cbetting thier entire range here, that means I'm probably ahead. We cant be fearing the reaper. That's being resualts oriented....

If the board come 742r I'm check calling all day long. Then let's re evaluate turn. Turn comes 5, now we can check raise. We have so much equity now, we block the straight, and all that beats us is a pair of 7s. We dont mind them folding because there arent any good rivers for us besides a 3. So if we CR turn, they will check river. More then likely....

Where I like the donk is boards like this where we have 2 solid overs. pretty much any 2 broadway cards. We have no draws, we cant call a CBet without gambling, and we can exsploit a ton of fold equity. Then if we do turn our money card we need to believe at that point we have the best hand with top pair good kicker, and can bet big for value. Ending in the same line on the river, check call....
 
Q

quant1986

Visionary
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Total posts
599
Awards
1
UTG vs BB defense - I don't think you should donk this flop as you have very little nut hands while UTG has got overpairs.

BTN vs BB defense - it is likely not a good flop to donk either. But you can check raise at high frequency if BTN cbet 100%

The issue is that BB does not really have many nutted combos on dry board and villain could fight back with raising air/overpairs to deny your equity.

If the board is more connected like 764r, 652r, you can consider developing a donk bet range
 
hackmeplz

hackmeplz

Sleep Faster
Joined
May 1, 2012
Total posts
2,281
Awards
1
Board texture aside, you should be donking more vs. opponents who cbet rarely, not against opponents who cbet their entire range, assuming a cash game with deep stacks. Against someone who cbets too much you should call much lighter and ch/r bluff more. Your ch/r value range should depend on how they play later streets. If they barrel a lot you likely want to ch/c more of your value range while if they're going to give up a lot after they get called you may want to ch/r value hands a bit wider or even ch/c donk turn wider for value.

In terms of board texture, my approach is generally to donk on boards where the opponent is likely to have some middling hands that want to pot control and can't face a ton of heat. Think something like J97r. They can have a good amount of pairs and weak draws, but not a whole ton of hands that are going to look very good facing 3 streets of betting on most runouts. So you would normally expect most people to ch back flop and make calling decisions in a smaller pot on the turn/river. Donking doesn't allow them to do that and forces them to either fold or play a much bigger pot than they're comfortable with.
 
ventrolloquist

ventrolloquist

Visionary
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Total posts
647
Thanks a lot for the pointers guys! A lot of good replies / stuff to learn here [emoji4]
 
Starting Hands - Poker Hand Nicknames Rankings - Poker Hands
Top