When not to protect check range

    • GingerKid
      GingerKid
      Black
      Joined: 05.08.2007 Posts: 5,530
      We usually want to protect check range, by putting some good bluff catchers, strong hands. When are the exceptions, when we let the check range weak?
      I would say:

      1) multiway pots
      2) IP on draw heavy board
      3) when last street was all check
      4) IP on low board


      Something else?
  • 11 replies
    • HuhtalaJ
      HuhtalaJ
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.04.2010 Posts: 7,166
      This is quite obvious but worth mentioning because I see so many regs falling into this category: when they just don't punish us for having a weak checking range. More so if they don't fancy folding.
    • Shakaflaka
      Shakaflaka
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.01.2010 Posts: 512
      As huhtalaJ say, against very passive opponents you dont need to slowplay some hands to protect your checking range.

      Why wouldnt you protect your checking range in point 2) and 4) against an aggressive opponent for example? Maybe on low boards you can get away with cbetting with almost your entire range becasue your bluffs have a ton of equity and by playing bet, chbh turn you can realize it. But on QJ8s, for example, if you are not protecting your checking range, you will be folding way too much after checking behind, won't you? And that will happen often since you won't be able to cbet with many air hands.

      I think we should always protect (at least at some frequency) our checking range unless the opponent is very passive or unless we are betting with our entire range (or almost our entire range). Do you remember the formula we discused about in another post? I think it is applicable in theese situations as well.

      I agree with multiwya scenarios and point 3) for me is the same: I guess you need to protect your checking range unless you are betting almost always. But since there is one street less to play and ranges are weaker your hands that you will use to protect your range will be also weaker. I think protecting our checking range means including some "stronger hands" in order not to let our opponent start overbetting very thin for value.
    • GingerKid
      GingerKid
      Black
      Joined: 05.08.2007 Posts: 5,530

      Why wouldnt you protect your checking range in point 2) and 4)
      To make myself more clear, I didnt mean protecting the range with nut hands, but protecting the range with top pairs. E.g. if on board A :spade: T :diamond: 4 :spade: we would never check Ax, then villian can overbet all Ax hands on turn and river and has so much equity with those. Thats why we need to check decent amount of top pairs (higher top pairs).

      so for 2), the problem of checking back top pair on draw heavy board is that we miss too much value on dangerous board where villian will often improve to nuts on turn for free, and for 4) the problem is e.g. on Board 9 :spade: 6 :club: 2 :spade: that our top pairs like 8c9c need protection, thats why it is not so good to check IP. It would be ok to check AA on low board though, but it is probably not enough combos to defend check range so we would need to check some other good pairs, and if we start checking also KK, QQ then we lose so much value by not cbetting and we check too often.
    • GingerKid
      GingerKid
      Black
      Joined: 05.08.2007 Posts: 5,530

      But on QJ8s, for example, if you are not protecting your checking range, you will be folding way too much after checking behind, won't you?
      It depends how strong is on flop our range, and villians. In most cases, if we cbet all hands that can bet for value even only one street and call another, then we can cbet flop on such board with high % and remain having good value:bluff ratio. So if we e.g. cbet 80% and check 20% of time, and then fold too much, then it is really not a problem because villian will rarely come in such profitable spot.
      If it is the case that we cbet only around e.g. 40%, then we definitely would be exploited if we fold too much after checking. So then it makes sense to check some weaker top pair hands and protect range that way so that villian cant value bet big any Qx or even Jx.

      So ok, I would say that we should protect range IP on draw heavy board. But I am not sure on low board if we should protect it with low top pairs which need protection. Good thing is that we will check many overcards on low board so on turn we will improve often enough so that we can protect our check range.
    • mbml
      mbml
      Black
      Joined: 27.11.2008 Posts: 20,694
      1. not necessarily true, you def need to slowplay multiway sometimes, just not as often
      2. When you're IP you can slowplay a lot less esp if your opponents are not overbetting the Turn and River.

      I wouldn't slowplay 3 street hands IP under the majority of circumstances, but i would sometimes slowplay 2 street hands (top pair with medium kickers). It could be great to have some 3 street slowplay hands in your checkback range so you can raise Turn leads more frequently, which is a good way of combating frequent donkbetters
    • jules97
      jules97
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.06.2012 Posts: 1,449
      I think it helps to have concept. Rather than just find scenarios. So then in the future, we can use our concept to find new answers.

      so simple concept answer: when your opponents can't do anything about it
      reasons could be, but aren't limited to:
      -villains are bad
      -stack sizes limit villain's options
      -ranges limit villain's options

      So pick each scenario and try and find options an opponent has to deal with someone who doesn't protect their range.


      1. is certainly not true and I'd imagine very costly in many situations (villain IP stabbing any 2 against 2 exploitably weak checking ranges)
      2. is true if your opponent can't do anything about it. This could be because he is bad (can't do stuff like overbet turns; is draw capped)
      4. same as 2
    • GingerKid
      GingerKid
      Black
      Joined: 05.08.2007 Posts: 5,530
      Thanks Jules, good explanations. nl100 i usually dont play vs villians who are able to overbet vs
      weak ranges so as default imo i shouldnt protect check range because it is higher EV to bet. And if i face villian who can make overbets, then it becomes likely max EV to check some strong hands.
    • lnternet
      lnternet
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.06.2012 Posts: 782
      I recommend you change the framing.

      Do NOT call it "protecting your checking range".
      Call it "when checking a strong hand has higher EV than betting it".
    • GingerKid
      GingerKid
      Black
      Joined: 05.08.2007 Posts: 5,530
      Originally posted by lnternet
      I recommend you change the framing.

      Do NOT call it "protecting your checking range".
      Call it "when checking a strong hand has higher EV than betting it".
      Ok that changes things a lot. In that case i should only check with strong hands if villian (or population) is agro enough so that in average the most money goes in when i check?

      By the way is that now unexploitative approach, or max EV of single hand? I usually at nl100-nl200 play max EV, and try to be balanced vs good regs in spots that occure often.

      Since population where i play is agro betting vs checks on low boards and drawy any board, flop and turn, but shuts down on river, it means as default it is enough to cc only hands that i cant value bet (like middle pairs that dont need much protection), and cbet value hands even those that can only cbet one street for value?

      And if reg is capable to bet 3 streets balanced or bluff heavy then it should be higher ev to check hands that can cbet only 1-2 streets for value?
      And if villian is very agro then it becomes max EV to check all value hands?

      I have a feeling i was wasting a lot of EV by "protecting check range" vs passive population which actally doesnt exploit me when i check.

      I would really like to get answers to those questions, so that i can change my ranges. Thanks.
    • Shakaflaka
      Shakaflaka
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.01.2010 Posts: 512
      Today I think I understood Internet's answer. It took some time, lol.
    • serverm07
      serverm07
      Basic
      Joined: 08.08.2012 Posts: 1,130
      Quite the bump :f_drink: :f_p: