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Flop decisions. What factors to consider?

    • terpesheva
      Joined: 15.02.2009 Posts: 156
      Hi all!

      I'm trying to develop a correct flop decision making process and would appreciate any help=) Please keep in mind that I am very confused by the theory at the moment=)

      I'm going to write out some of my thoughts about the flop and I'm asking you to correct me or add the points I've missed.

      I guess I am not wrong to say that my decision is based on my equity + folding equity.

      So, 3 cards are dealt and we need to re-assess our equity.
      I hope that with knowledge of ranges and equilab practice it is possible to rather accurately estimate any hand's equity on the flop against a given range (I will be aiming aiming at 10% accuracy but I guess 5% is also plausible). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

      Therefore, it is possible to analyse all hands into 3 categories.
      Strong: Say, equity is above 60%
      Mediocre: Equity around 50%; +- 10%.
      Weak: Equity below 40%.

      With strong hands we are way ahead and we want to maximise our value. Hence, we choose the best line given our position, preflop action and opponent type/stats.

      With weak hands the decision is also easy. If it's trash, it's a fold apart from some standard lines like contibet flop or bet into unraised pot HU. If the hand has some chances to improve, we can try to build up folding equity if the opponent is right. The decision here is based on how much FE I think I have.

      The hardest part is the mediocre category. What analysis do I need to adopt here to get the best expected value?

      Also, am I correct to consider equity as the core of my hand analysis?
      Does dividing flop hands into these 3 categories make sense at all?
      In what situations (if any) should I ignore my equity?

      Hopefully this was not too confusing=)
  • 2 replies
    • Dawnfall26
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116

      Its not realistic to sort it into just 3 groups since decitions always depend on your oponent,his range,your range,reads and possibly some metagame, not even mentioning position.
      What you wrote is so called hot n cold equity(I hope I wrote it correctly:D ) and its very improtant to get a feel for it but its obviously just the base.

      With hands with high equity its easy sice we want to put in more action but even here we have to decide whether to wait till turn(sometimes river) or maybe we want to fastplay.Basically we have to figure out which line nets the most.

      With trash hands it gets a bit harder.We may just fold them but then again we should not just blindly do this.Sometimes we may actually have correct odds to call once(i.e. BB vs SB when ranges are soo wide) not doing so will forfeit too much value. Then there are spots where we may pull off a purebluff(usually if we have some backdoor potential) on certain boards where we know oponent misses them often.

      Mediocre part is indeed the hardest and answer is never simple.Knowing your oponent improves decition making veeeeeeeeery much.For example against passive SD bound players betting turn for freeSD is far superior ro checking behind and calling rivers while against agressive players who can be induced its often better to check behind and call nice rivers.

      It also matter whether our hand is made or a draw and in general if its a draw we have to play agresivly since we need only small amount of FE to compensate for lack of hotncold equity. Sure its not always true as in some spots we may have 0 FE vs certain players ranges so we are better off by just playing it passive

      If its a made hand then we have to decide the way to play it out and I wouldnt say its always the agro way if we are 50-60 and always passive if we are 40-50. Its impossible to write all the reasons here but...

      a)if you assume oponent will call you down very light then you can also raise very much(especially OOP when you dont want him to control the hand) and then continue to vbet

      b)if you assume that you oponent will often fold to quickly then I would raise a lot of vulnerable hands to make him incorectly fold 5+outers

      c)if opoent cant call you down very often its usually better to stay passive and just let him bluff

      d)balancing!!! some players can get very exploitable so you may want to choose lines that do just that

      that would be my flawless logic:D
    • terpesheva
      Joined: 15.02.2009 Posts: 156
      Thanks DAwnfall=)

      I guess I need more practice=)