How to react to donkey bet

Aballinamion

Aballinamion

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How to react to donkey bet:

Examples for 6-MAX Cash Tables

a) Multi-way pot:

We open AcKs from MP and we get called both from SB and BB:

Flop: Th6d7c

SB checks and BB donks flop:

We must be very careful in flops like this when we are holding AJ+ and JJ+

Of course that in this same situation, if we own KK or AA, we are not folding yet, we are calling, because villain could’ve been betting some Tx for protection, but we are not raising the donks flop!
In this situation villain would have much more value hands than bluffs, ergo, villain will be unbalanced.
In situations where we think villain is unbalanced, there is no problem to overfold in a high frequency.
Plus, in multi-way pots, specially versus both SB and BB, when we get a donkey bet, usually there would be very strong hands on villain’s range.
For in this spot, the blinds will hold very strong hands, they will have tons of pocket pairs (66, 77), they will have a lot of two pairs (T6, T7, 76), plus a lot of good draws that can hit turn/river, so we must be smart and not raise, if comes a 2x or a blank card on the turn we can continue paying, but if it completes the draw we must consider folding.
Conclusion: we are easily folding our AK here.

b) Single pot:

We open AsJc from UTG and we get called from the SB, which appears to be a regular: what range do we have expect here? JTs+, 33+, QTs+, KJs+, A2s+, so we expect a very strong range.

Flop: Jh3c2s

SB donks flop for the size of the pot! And SB donks on a flop that doesn’t make any sense, for we are opening from UTG, so we do own almost all the combos of JJ, 33 and 22? Why? SB can have one combo of JJ here, because some players elect not to 3-bet JJ from SB when they are facing a raise from UTG. Thus we own 5 combos of JJ and Villain 1 combo of JJ.
And most of players won’t 3-bet hands like 22-33 of the SB versus UTG.
In this case we are from UTG and we have range advantage over the SB, and even if we had not AJ, but KQs for example, we would continue calling for we have a back door straight and two overcards. If we had T9s we would be calling this donks flop for the same reason, and so on.
But why aren’t we raising this donks flop here with our strong TPTK??? Because it doesn’t make any sense, we would never be raising this flop having JJ, 33 or 22! So we are not raising as well with our TPTK, because we are balanced.
We better call here with a medium part of our range (float) to try to raise turn or river:
After we call...

Turn: 7d

SB checks on the turn. This is not strange because we wasn’t expecting SB to have a strong range (when it leads into the flop) so this villain is not so strong as we thought it was so we can start making value with our TPTK by betting on the turn to extract from its draws and weaker hands.
And SB, being a weak regular will call most of times having KJ, QJ, JT for example.
Many weak players will donk bet to test the strength of their hands, sometimes they have second pair and if they donk and get raised they insta fold, or they donk and get raised to see if we bet the turn, and if we bet they fold, so they use the donk bet as a thermometer of the strength of their hands, they bet for information, they donk bet to know where they are, which is obviously a weak move.
This is why is important to know if the villain donkey betting is a fish or a regular: a regular will usually donk bet with strong hands, and a fish will donk bet to know where it is in the hand and with a lot of bluffs that they believe are good to be leading/donking:

Villain/SB called our bet OTT.

River: 3d

SB checks again: now we are almost certain SB is weak and was betting for information, so we could go for a high bet of 3/4 pot or even full pot to try to get paid by weaker jacks and hands like 88, 99, etc.

Best regards;
 
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gustav197poker

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I relate donk bets in Multi-way directly to value bets. In general, I see them a lot in more predictable players, who tend to bet when they have a strong hand. Against them I do not complicate my life and I fold.
In single pot the story doesn't change much, especially in dry setups. Unless you've seen him bluff a lot, it's a place where you're supposed to be able to defend at least one street, which sometimes isn't even worth doing.
As you progress to the turn and river the donk bets mean more and more value. They may want to protect their values, but in those cases if you are looking to bluff, I recommend that it be your last option. First you have to know a little more about the villain. If he ever folds etc.
Don't worry too much about balancing your range (I'm sure you understand that very well), instead see how you can exploit an opponent who tends to value bet. If he doesn't usually fold when you bet, bet larger than a standard size for instance.
Greetings.
 
Aballinamion

Aballinamion

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I relate donk bets in Multi-way directly to value bets. In general, I see them a lot in more predictable players, who tend to bet when they have a strong hand. Against them I do not complicate my life and I fold.
In single pot the story doesn't change much, especially in dry setups. Unless you've seen him bluff a lot, it's a place where you're supposed to be able to defend at least one street, which sometimes isn't even worth doing.
As you progress to the turn and river the donk bets mean more and more value. They may want to protect their values, but in those cases if you are looking to bluff, I recommend that it be your last option. First you have to know a little more about the villain. If he ever folds etc.
Don't worry too much about balancing your range (I'm sure you understand that very well), instead see how you can exploit an opponent who tends to value bet. If he doesn't usually fold when you bet, bet larger than a standard size for instance.
Greetings.
Thanks for your input and added ideas. It’s a shame that you aren’t so active on the forum as in the past, but you are trying according to your personal scheduled, and I feel glad you are here with us.
You are a great member of this forum and I like your presence around. Hope one day you return to be one of the main contributors!
I have a little doubt here: as less opponent would fold, higher my bets? Why is that? For the micros players would simply jam over my raises.
Actually, I’m almost never raising donks, I must have a very specific reason for doing so.
And I worry about balancing my range, even versus fishes, because I like to pot control and be ready on my reads.

Thanks a lot!
 
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gustav197poker

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I have a little doubt here: as less opponent would fold, higher my bets? Why is that?
I mean when you bet and V calls without problems: the case of a V who usually calls a lot bets (perhaps because he has a position on you), my thought is: if he likes lot to call my bets we can bet on big sizes for obtain more value. I mean unbalanced sizes like overbet otf and things like that. Somehow indirectly we would be balancing against weak opponents. Because maybe we are over folding, but we compensate with larger bets than the standard sizes that are currently used.
 
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fundiver199

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These hands are both good examples of, how to react to donk bets. Continuing with AK in this first hand is a pretty common mistake, because some people cant adjust to the fact, their hand is now a lot worse. Maybe head-up we can peel one street, but here we are not even closing the action, and either player could already have a flopped straight. In the second hand the full pot sized donk bet looks pretty wild, and we almost always have the best hand. But we dont want to raise, because the flop is pretty static, and we want to give the opponent a chance to continue hanging himself on the turn.
 
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fundiver199

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Here is another donk bet. This one is also a value bluff. Meaning the opponent had a quite good hand, that was possibly best. But he played it so fast, he was sure to only get action, when he was behind. This is a very important part of winning poker strategy, because it makes sure, we only win a small pot, when we are ahead but lose our whole stack, when we are behind :)

 
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fundiver199

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Another donk bet gone wrong for my opponent. Without Ad I would tend to raise the small flop donk, but with Ad its less likely, someone has a flushdraw, and I can easily continue across a diamond turn. It was also a paired board, so just calling was for a bit of deception but also for stack protection in case someone flopped trips.

 
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gustav197poker

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A donk bet can also be performed on the turn. This was the first hand of a 2,2$ turbo PKO on PokerStars, and the opponent wasted no time removing himself from the tournament :)

Coolers are part of the game, although you have to give him credit that he didn't do it with 46s :ROFLMAO:
 
AdiS18

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Get out and stay safe... until you have very good cards.
 
Aballinamion

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To @fundiver199

Thanks for your contribution on this matter, it’s helpful to all of us on the forum!

  1. This first example is great to demonstrate that no matter if we are playing cash or tournament, the idea of how to react to donkey bet is pretty much the same. Villain leads/donks flop in a low board (425?) with a flush draw willing to defend its hand and the size bet he uses screams is a weak move. We could fold our combos off-suited and still go with our combos of suited hearts.
  2. This hand where you hold KK is pretty fun, but also didactic to demonstrate clearly how players overvalue their range and play unbalanced. And the important use of common sense in a hand, which Hero performed: we aren’t playing GTO or Exploitative Game: above all we are being smart and looking for the best spots.
  3. This example is quite similar to the spot where villain overvalued his A6 having no range advantage. We must call it down to the end and hang the fish!
 
GNuTTz

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Good question…. It depends on which site you are using. PS you can throw several things. GG you can use a facial expression. 888 you can throw 1 thing at a time… lol. Have fun with it!
 
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fundiver199

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Thanks for your contribution on this matter, it’s helpful to all of us on the forum!

  1. This first example is great to demonstrate that no matter if we are playing cash or tournament, the idea of how to react to donkey bet is pretty much the same. Villain leads/donks flop in a low board (425?) with a flush draw willing to defend its hand and the size bet he uses screams is a weak move. We could fold our combos off-suited and still go with our combos of suited hearts.
  2. This hand where you hold KK is pretty fun, but also didactic to demonstrate clearly how players overvalue their range and play unbalanced. And the important use of common sense in a hand, which Hero performed: we aren’t playing GTO or Exploitative Game: above all we are being smart and looking for the best spots.
  3. This example is quite similar to the spot where villain overvalued his A6 having no range advantage. We must call it down to the end and hang the fish!
You are welcome. I think, the first two examples, I shared, are very trivial calls. In the first it was a paired board, but how often does someone open a hand with a 5 in it from UTG and then call a 3-bet out of position? I guess, he could have like exactly A5 of spades, but even if he did, would he really donk jam and allow me an easy fold with hands like AK or AQs? Probably not so as far as I am concerned, AA was basically the nuts given the board and the action. Worst case scenario is pretty much, that I am against a flushdraw. In the second hand with KK I also basically had the nuts, since I dont think, AA is ever played like this on any street.

The last hand was a bit more tricky, since it was a single raised pot, and the opponent defended his blinds. This mean, he can definitely have a 5 in his hand, and this is also why, I did not raise and put him all-in on the river. I think, I am good often enough to call even a full pot sized river bet. But I dont think, I am against a worse value hand often enough to raise. With K9 he would obviously have stuck in his last 380 chips, but if he is on some random bluff, he just fold, and I dont win anything extra.
 
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