Thoughts on check/raising

    • Itsnevereasy
      Itsnevereasy
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.08.2010 Posts: 381
      Here are some thoughts on why we don't donk bet from the blinds. You will understand why I am starting with this situation in a minute...


      So say the button opens x3 and we flat QJs from the bb. I think most of the time flatting is better than 3betting. So lets look at two flops:

      Q64 rainbow

      and

      752 with one club.


      In 2013 we are always checking both of these flops. Both flops are raisable with QJ, but it depends on the dynamics of the game. Without prior history I would probably raise the second one and ch/call the first one.

      In any case we check close to 100% of the time when defending from the blinds. Why do we do that??? Probably because its the trend and we saw other people do it, etc. But there's a reason why it's the trend now and was not (from what i heard) 5 years ago.

      Fundamentally, We check 100% of the time because we expect the button will cbet close to 100% of the time. This is the case for most players in 2013 and not the case for 5 years earlier. If the button cbets 100% of the time, its better to check/raise as a bluff AND check raise for value.

      1) Check raising as a bluff is better because we will simply win more monies when he folds.

      2) Check raising for value lets us extract more value and bloat the pot.

      In both cases we let the opponent put some more 'dead' money in the pot first.

      Hypothesis: we should check when our opponent will bet close to 100% of the time.


      Now lets look at another example:

      We raise QJs UTG and BU flats. Two flops again:

      Q64 rainbow

      and

      752 with one club.

      For most people the standard is to cbet both flops i think.


      So my question is " why do we check OOP from the blinds, but cbet OOP when we are the initial raiser preflop". You know the guy will bet 100% of the time if you check. (OK this is an exageration! :D But seriously, everyone is so aggressive these days.) Is there really a fundamental difference between playing say bb vs bu and HJ vs bu?

      Since most regs have a high cbet when they were the initial raiser and are OOP on the flop, I want to hear your reasoning. Hopefully my question makes sense
  • 10 replies
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
      Gold
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      It's all about the initiative, you don't really want to lead on the flop without the initiative due to fact that you will often enough be raised or floated all streets with better hand.

      EDIT: IMO
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
      Gold
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      And from the blinds with QJs vs BU I would most definitely 3bet or fold (depending on the stats) rather flat.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      basically what rihard4a said. The guy with the initiative is given the "right" to stab at the pot first. Thus, we always check to the raiser by default.

      If you checked to me on a dry board OOP as the PFR, I'm not necessarily going to stab at it. Why would u not cbet your air?
    • patszerdonk
      patszerdonk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2011 Posts: 834
      1. because donk bet doesn't explored enough yet by theory. People feel uncomfortable to do it.

      2. its about range preflop.
      HJ vs BU : HJ has "right" to cbet because HJ range preflop 25% (0% - 25%, best 25% hand)
      BB vs BU: BB range preflop 25% (10% - 35%, not best 25%)

      BU raise % on the flop will be higher vs BB than vs HJ because he know BB has no AA, KK, QQ. HJ maybe have.


      Very interesting question. Want to hear others opinion.
    • Itsnevereasy
      Itsnevereasy
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.08.2010 Posts: 381
      If you checked to me on a dry board OOP as the PFR, I'm not necessarily going to stab at it. Why would u not cbet your air?


      Good point. So I think for the sake of this discussion, we should assume that our opponent will stab close to 100% of the time.

      Consider the parallel to defending OOP from the bb. Donking strategies only come into play vs opponents who don't cbet frequently.

      And from the blinds with QJs vs BU I would most definitely 3bet or fold (depending on the stats) rather flat.


      You should reconsider this. Imo 3betting QJs is a spew bb vs bu.

      The guy with the initiative is given the "right" to stab at the pot first.


      I was expecting these kind of answers. The initiative has no fundamental value imo. It originated from the fact that the original raiser should have the stronger range (which is not always true any way!). When you defend with QJs bb vs bu, you are ahead of his range so in a way you have initiative! And yet you don't donk on the flop.

      So imo we should only consider player ranges and frequencies when deciding to bet or check.

      I am of course hoping that someone disagrees and brings up a valid argument, otherwise I wouldn't be starting this discussion.

      Why would u not cbet your air?


      Because it is more profitable to check raise. The same reason you don't donk you air.
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
      Gold
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
      As you said you are almost always ahead of bu range when you hold QJs, that's why it doesn't make sense not to 3bet. When you flAt such hand you almost always gonna in a sot where you spew. With such marginal hand you want to take pot down right now, without showdown, and this is where initiative comes in place. With initiative you can represent a lot of strong ranges which=$$$$.
    • Kyyberi
      Kyyberi
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 10,511
      When preflop raiser doesn't cbet dry board, there's something going on.

      Poker is all about adjusting to opponents. If opponent stabs there 100% of time, of course you check-raise. Just make sure you know how often you need to be succesfull (betsizing and folding equity) and estimate if it's +EV or not. If your opponent doesn't adjust, keep doing it over and over again. When he adjusts, you need to adjust too.

      If you are not sure your opponent is likely to stab at the pot, it's a lot safer to cbet and win the pot instead of giving your opponent a free card.
    • DeLau
      DeLau
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.01.2009 Posts: 1,606
      I like this discussion. I agree with OP that we respect initiative way too much. That's not the factor we should base our actions on. But as said by others, people with initiative will generally bet the flop and that's why we donkbet so little.

      I mostly wouldn't 3bet QJs in bb vs steal btw. In sb, that depends on bb.
    • dozeer
      dozeer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.07.2011 Posts: 186
      according to Math of Poker book, in theory its optimal to have donking range even when you are not the pf aggresor to cut down your opponent's options (=lower his winrate)
    • gp00053
      gp00053
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      Originally posted by Kyyberi
      When preflop raiser doesn't cbet dry board, there's something going on.

      Poker is all about adjusting to opponents. If opponent stabs there 100% of time, of course you check-raise. Just make sure you know how often you need to be succesfull (betsizing and folding equity) and estimate if it's +EV or not. If your opponent doesn't adjust, keep doing it over and over again. When he adjusts, you need to adjust too.

      If you are not sure your opponent is likely to stab at the pot, it's a lot safer to cbet and win the pot instead of giving your opponent a free card.
      +1