This is a discussion on To valuebet or not to valuebet within the online poker forums, in the Cash Games section; Should you ever value bet on the flop against an opponent you suspect has a drawing hand? For example, you hold pocket aces on the 

To valuebet or not to valuebet 
#1




To valuebet or not to valuebet
Should you ever value bet on the flop against an opponent you suspect has a drawing hand? For example, you hold pocket aces on the flop but the flop is coordinated, is it right to give your opponent good odds to call (as a valuebet) or should you just try to steal the pot right there?
My gut feeling feeling is steal the pot. Because if you repeat each of the two scenarios several times I think you earn more by giving your opponent bad odds to call. But I'm looking at Doug Polk's preflop gameplan and I'm scratching my head because of an example in there where he says to value bet hands like AA & 44 on a Jh*8h*4h flop. I can only assume this is because the probability of one opponent holding at least one heart is about 40% making valuebetting a profitable move over half the time? But then again my grasp of statistics is abysmal so I'm not so sure my thinking is right. (and maybe villain might just fold if they didn't hold that heart so maybe I should ignore the 40% bit) (Let's ignore any GTO balancing strategies for simplicitiy's sake and assume the opponent is eating a sandwich, and always calls if they have good odds / always folds with bad odds) ps: I do realize giving villain odds to call in a headsup match is a losing or breakeven proposition in the long run, but for the sake of my question i'm assuming other player's chips are in the pot and they've all folded making it potentially still profitable to value bet.
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#2




So I did a bit of math to try and figure this out and found that it's more profitable to steal the pot on the flop. EV for that is $75 while EV for valuebetting ends up being $53.3. Please let me know if I thought this through correctly.
Assume a 6max game with $10 bb's Preflop you hold AA, you raise 30, everyone except villain folds and he calls, pot is now 105. The flop comes and it's all hearts as I described above. You suspect villain has a heart because he put his sandwich down and checks his cards again. You calculate that he will fold to any bet above 40 (around 38% of the pot) and call any bet under that. So you bet 30. Villain calls. The pot is now 165 and the turn card comes, it's not a heart. You now calculate that villain will fold to any bet over 32 (12% of the pot)  (this is an implied odds bit that you should have anticipated on the flop), so you bet 20 and he calls and the pot is now 215. Basically using the odds and implied odds we got on the flop, you know on the flop that you will win the pot 62% of the time and lose the pot 38% of the time. You anticipate the pot will grow to 215 and the amount you contributed to that pot will have been 80 (30 preflop bet + 30 flop bet + 20 turn bet)… Therefore you risk losing $80 38% of the time and winning $215 minus $80 ($135) 62% of the time. (135x0.62)  (80x0.38) = 53.3 vs trying to steal the pot (75x1.00)  (80x0) = 75 Thoughts? Edit: I meant to say bet 40 preflop, so all my math is a bit off but the idea is still the same.
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#3




Turn math
Thanks for posting. You state your opponent would only call 12% on turn but 32 is 20% is 12% a typo? We make money when our opponents make mistakes so betting exactly the correct amount on the turn to let them draw is not correct poker. If we know that OPP has naked flush draw, we fold to all hearts on the river, so there is no implied odds for OPP but OPP does not know that. Another reason to bet larger on the turn. We can never know OPP only has a naked flush draw they may have pair plus flush draw or even two draws on any given board. This effects your math as well. When you know you have the best hand you are not stealing the pot. There is value in getting OPP to fold their equity but the flop is seldom the place they will do that. OPP thinks they have implied odds so direct odds are not the whole story. So on flop OPP may fold 40 but will fold 41 and we bet 30 not 39 why? This is not intended to be critical just introducing things to consider. Hope this helps.
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#4




re: Poker & To valuebet or not to valuebet
Thanks. Looks like I made a mistake in my math as i didnt factor in my turn bet as being part of the total, doh... Ya it def shouldn't be 12%. I would have assumed opp has only a flush draw because they called (and its about a 40% chance that they do actually hold a heart), and its more likely that they hold no pair than a pair. But I think can see how them having a pair would affect the math, they might call higher bets right? When you say I know I have the best hand are you saying I should valuebet anyways? What do you mean by opp thinks they have implied odds? Pardon my noobness, I don't think I've quite grasped implied odds.
The 30 instead of 39 was just to make the math simpler . It could also be a psychological thing where opp might think "close enough". Or perhaps they used the rule of 2's and 4's which makes them think their odds are 36%.
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#5




Implied odds
Thanks for sharing. If you use the quote and post option I will get an email notification and can respond more timely. Luckily I was scanning just now. I will just address implied odds this time. With regards to this hand your opponent has 20% equity on the turn which means if no other bets go in on the river the OPP has to get 5 to 1 odds to call on turn correctly. eg call $20 bet to win $100 However if your OPP thought you would call a $30 river bet just in case he was bluffing. His implied odds would be $20 to win $130 He would be getting 6.5 to 1 to win a 51 draw. In NO Limit Holdem you can call with 22 vs a player who shows you they have AA when they make it 10BB if they will then give you 100BB when you hit a 2. The implied odds are a ten to 1 payoff for the call. The direct odds are 5.9 to 1 so auto fold 22 if all u can win is the preflop pot. So as I stated in your hand, if we know we are folding to any heart on the river we can bet larger on the turn and our OPP will call making a pot odds mistake because they will be expecting us to call some bets on the river. Hope that helps. If you need more help just hit the quote and reply button as I don't always come back to these threads regularly. I will get the email notice and reply when I can.
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#6




Thanks for the great explanation eetenor . That is of course assuming that the opponent will make a pot odds mistake though right? So I am still a bit confused as to how high I should be betting on the flop, if the OPP has a lower pair they will probably call (or bet) whether my bet is small or large, but if they don't have a pair they will fold to higer bets. So I take it I should just bet higher so as to deny him the odds to a flush while potentially gaining value if he has a pair? Is that why Polk says to value bet the hand example I posted?
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#7




Odds Mistakes
Thank you for using the "quote post" You are correct in your Doug Polk statements. Our goal is to choose bet sizes than cause our opponents to make pot odds calling errors. Working with poker odds calculators allows us to understand the equity we have and speculate the equity our opponent may have. A standard flush draw has 35% equity. Basically our opponents need 31 odds to call In your example the pot is 105 and you are betting 30. The pot becomes 135 OPP needs to call 30: 135/30 = 4.51 easy call mistake by us. If you bet 60: 165/60 2.71 bad call with direct odds. Implied odds however suggest OPP needs you to call only 15 on turn if flush comes. 165 + 15 = 180/60 =31 If you fold to any bet when heart comes your OPP made a math mistake. However it suggests that our 60 bet maybe too low. Bet 75 pot 180/75 =2.41 OPP needs you to call 75 x 3 = 225 180 = 45 for implied odds. The turn in your example brings no heart. Pot 165 OPP equity now 20% OPP needs 51 You bet 20 pot 185 OPP needs to call 20. 185/20 91 easy call mistake by us. Your bet should be greater than 51. 185/5=37. A standard bet in that spot is half pot 90+. Pot 255/90 = 2.71 Implied odds on a 90 turn bet for OPP you would need to call their 195 bet on river. 5 x 90 =450  255 = 195 another pot odds mistake by OPP We want our OPP to make the largest pot odds mistakes they will or fold their equity. Hope this helps. Ask away if you need more clarity
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#8




re: Poker & To valuebet or not to valuebet
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