Checking Behind on the Turn

    • YohanN7
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,711

      Iv'e played more and more LAG lately. Some sessions, Iv'e landed on like 42/30/18, but that's kind of the extreme. Needless to say, I can't play postflop as if I held the nuts every hand.

      I'm thinking about acquiring a decent range to check behind on the turn for balancing reasons. I think it could be useful for
      • inducing bluffs
      • inducing light river calls
      • stopping bluffs
      • getting cheap showdowns

      The first point is obvious. The second is related to the first. If I'm high up in my check behind range, I'll naturally bet for pure value on most rivers. The third point (the opposite of the first) is a meta game thing. I'll probably have weak showdownable hands in my range too that I want to go check-check (fourt point).

      Here is a value hand very far up in my range(, perhaps way too far up to check), to illustrate what I mean:

      PokerStars - $0.10/$0.20 (6 max) - Holdem - 5 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 4

      SB: $4.24
      BB: $4.63
      UTG: $5.03
      CO: $2.60
      Hero (BTN): $5.13

      SB posts SB $0.05, BB posts BB $0.10

      Pre Flop: (pot: $0.15) Hero has K:spade: T:diamond:

      fold, CO calls $0.10, Hero raises to $0.20, fold, BB calls $0.10, CO calls $0.10

      Flop: ($0.65, 3 players) Q:diamond: 5:diamond: A:club:
      BB checks, CO checks, Hero bets $0.10, fold, CO calls $0.10

      Turn: ($0.85, 2 players) K:diamond:
      CO checks, Hero checks

      River: ($0.85, 2 players) A:heart:
      CO checks, Hero bets $0.20, CO calls $0.20

      Hero shows K:spade: T:diamond: (Two Pair, Aces and Kings) (Pre 66%, Flop 31%, Turn 91%)
      CO mucks Q:spade: 7:club: (Two Pair, Aces and Queens) (Pre 34%, Flop 69%, Turn 9%)
      Hero wins $1.19

      Any thoughts about having some pretty solid value in the turn check behind range?
      I'm also thinking about having different ranges versus different types of opponents. Either the bluffing type, or the delay-until-turn-check-raisers ought to be good targets. There are plenty of the latter type that are abusing me at the moment. Some of them systematically wait until the river.

      Technical points about the check behind type of hands?
      Obviously, TT on a J765 board with two flush draws isn't an optimal hand to check.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
  • 3 replies
    • JLeitmotiv
      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 756
      I was recently thinking about this. I remember in Hawrilenko v Polaris (yes, I know, I'm getting everyone tired with that book! :D ) that Newall says that, when you construct a check back range on the flop, you should keep there hands that have potential to improve to at least a top pair. Basically the range must be like this:

      1. Weak showdownable hands (Ahi on a 3flush board)
      2. Weak draws

      And it ends up with about ~90% of flop cbet if i am not mistaken. If you say that you should have about ~75% of turn cbet (am i right? I don't know the actual values here), we should construct a range that has 25% of hands that fall in that category.

      In the examples given, Hawrilenko xb flop and raises turn as bluff a couple of times (he also has a value raise range here), so my main concern here is how to balance this check-back and also the river afterwards! I'd love to have a xb turn raise river range, but I am finding it very hard to make!!

      The other thing I am struggling with is this: when do I xb t fold river? If I have a hand that I don't want to show down, I'll bet it on the turn. The only situations I don't do this is, say, cbetting flop on a dry board with Qhi and arriving to the river UI.

      Conclusion: I have recently realized that almost everytime I check-back the turn I end up calling the river (I definitely never xb t raise river). I don't know if this is a huge leak or what, but it doesn't feel quite right anyway.

      Related to the hand you posted, I wouldn't check behind that turn.
    • madorjan
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      @JL: Checking back the flop in HUHU makes some sense, although I'm still quite heavily vote for cbetting all of my range in these spots, but yeah, that makes some sense (especially against someone who never or rarely 3bets pre). However I find that in SH there are even less spots when you want to not cbet HU, but more often 3+ ways.

      About the turn checkback: for one, you shouldn't always have a checkback/raising range. I know, it's not GTO-like, but you can make your opponent indifferent to bluffing the riv without a river raising range as well. Also if you check back a somewhat acceptable range, you'll automatically will have hands to raise with on most rivers, although not that many.

      Checkback/fold is a more interesting part, since you definitely have to do that sometimes, so that your opponent's bluffs will succeed some of the time. I like to think about it like this:

      - I have a "clear" vbetting range
      - there are a couple of hands that are not clear vbets, but I'm happy to bet them for value if I have to (mostly A his, maybe bottom pairs, depends on the board texture).
      - there is a thin layer of hands that could work as a freeSDbet if I really really want to, but I'd prefer checking back
      - then comes the must checking-back part
      - then comes the part where betting as a bluff in exploitative sense may not be the best, cause the opponent wouldn't be folding enough better hands, but with protection and with the fact he may call worse draws, it might be worth it, they can be a thin bluff.
      - then comes the must bluff part

      From these you can figure out which hands to bet or not.

      That's my way of thinking about it, as always, it's not a perfectly balanced range (in terms of the river cards), but you can't do much better, unless you want to start and make your life extremely difficult.:)

      I hope it helped, I'm sorry I wasn't more accurate, but I'm still not sure if I want to reveal all my leaks and tips publicly.:)
    • Boomer2k10
      Joined: 22.09.2010 Posts: 2,551
      Originally posted by madorjan

      That's my way of thinking about it, as always, it's not a perfectly balanced range (in terms of the river cards), but you can't do much better, unless you want to start and make your life extremely difficult.:)

      Oh come on, who doesn't want to do this? :f_biggrin: