Calling vs raising based on equity

    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      So a thought popped up in my mind. If we look at the most basic math involved, one would say that you should call a bet as long as you are getting the right odds. This is most common when you have some sort of draw. However, with made hands this is obviously different.

      Now, I don't have a lot of experience with cash games yet (~5k hands since I started the BSS course), so maybe I'm thinking about this completely the wrong way. That's why I made this topic in the first place, to get some input on this :D

      Anyway, let's say you had 9:spade: 9:diamond: on a flop of A:heart: J:spade: 2:club: . Pre-flop, we called a $6 raise from the button vs a UTG raiser, and the blinds folded, so there's $15 in the pot (assuming $1/$2 blinds). Now UTG makes a cbet of $10. Considering the odds we're given, we need to win 40% of the time.

      If UTG is a fairly loose player, which happens a decent amount of the time and we give him a range consisting of high aces, all pairs and suited connectors, which would be something like 22+,AJs+,KQs,QJs,JTs,T9s,98s,87s,76s,AJo+ (which may or may not be true, that's beside the point here), we would have 43.35% equity. Looking at just that, we should call, because we're getting the right odds.

      But then again, calling isn't that great of an option. We could already be behind, and any K, Q or T would be a bad card for us on the turn. But on the other hand, we could also be ahead and need to protect our hand. So, since we would be getting the right odds to call, wouldn't it be better to raise?

      Of course if UTG is a tighter player (say 66+,AQ+) it's an easy fold, because we will be getting 35% equity at the most if he also has some random suited connectors in his range.

      Am I making any sense here? Or am I thinking completely wrong?

      So ultimately, my question is, when you are getting the right odds to call, but calling puts you in a bad spot on the next street, isn't it better to raise? Or is folding even an option, despite having the right equity to stay in the hand?

      Again, this is just a hypothetical situation.
  • 5 replies
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,084
      You make perfect sense, but there are more things to consider. If you raise, then you need a certain amount of better hands to fold because no worse hands are going to call. (Worse hands may reraise on the other hand.)

      You need to represent something if you raise. On this flop you can pretty much represent 222 only if you play taggy. Then again,why would you raise on the flop with a small set? Do you coldcall with AJ preflop? Does your opponent ever go broke with a pair only? Does he continuation bet turn with air?

      ..., but calling puts you in a bad spot on the next street, ...
      No, this is wrong. Calling puts him in a bad spot. Wether you actually should fold/call/raise I don't know. I'm just suggesting a few things to consider.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • jonnyjm
      jonnyjm
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 447
      What do we know about villains turn play? Does he double barrel often or does he play more ABC straight forward?

      If villain is an aggressive player who bets most streets often just calling the flop with 99 is going to put you in a lot of difficult spots on later streets as the pot inflates in size. Do you really want to be flat calling 3 streets for most of your stack? You really want to get to showdown as cheaply as you can but it's unlikely you are going to be able to do this vs an aggressive player. If he plays straight forward on the turn, floating the flop isn't a terrible option.

      Now if you are considering raising the flop you need to know how often villain folds his c-bet to raises and if they are a thinking player what are you representing if you raise? If you are raising the flop you defiantly aren't raising for value but rather are turning your hand into a bluff, so you need enough fold equity. Another thing to factor in is villains elastic or inelastic? Basically this means does villains continuing range change dependent on how big or small the raise is?

      I don't really think the scenario you have given us has enough information to be able to come to any reasonable conclusions, imo.
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      Of course there are more things to consider, I know that :)

      Thanks for the reply though. Pretty useful information, especially considering I'm so inexperienced with cash games since I moved from MTTs (~5k hands now, so that's nothing ;) ). That change in dynamics is simply huge, so there's a lot of spots I would play so differently in MTTs than in cash games. It's just a big mindset change, so situations like this are pretty tough for me at the moment.

      Again, thanks for the input! Very useful :)
    • jonnyjm
      jonnyjm
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 447
      Just remember in MTT you often play with more shallow stacks than cash games ;)
    • kiromanAAKK
      kiromanAAKK
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.10.2009 Posts: 4,022
      Originally posted by TinoLaan
      ... so there's $15 in the pot (assuming $1/$2 blinds). Now UTG makes a cbet of $10. Considering the odds we're given, we need to win 40% of the time.

      ...
      Equity needed after the CB of UTG should be 28% while 40% is the foldequity :)