Betting small for value and large with more bluffs - $$ Games

    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      Since this concept is so heavily adhered to in many of the videos here, I'm wondering where exactly we get max value from if we're specifically betting smaller the more value heavy we are. Is it over time, on what we make on the bluffs that generates the additional EV? How do we win a player's whole stack? Is it by overshoving river once the pot gets big enough from 3 streets of previous small bets?

      I want to understand this fully because I'm finding myself in a lot of these spots and as I gain more experience, I'm trying to squeeze the most profit out of each and every hand since I know how extreme variance can be.

      Thanks
  • 14 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,955
      It's a question of balance.
      If you always bet 1/2 pot for value, and overbet bluff, observant villains will eat you alive.

      So...
      Bet high with the top of your range enough so that your bluffs work.
      Bet low with the top of your range often enough so that your thin value bets work.

      But that also means that you have to make small-bet bluffs often enough so that you get paid off with the nuts, and you need to make small bets with bluffs often enough.

      You can also base this on how your opponent plays -- assuming you're observant enough to know how they play.

      Oh yeah, and don't forget to balance your aggressive play with passive play from time to time, and vs different opponents.

      All the best,
      VS
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      @VorpalF2F: Thanks for taking the time. I'm also studying this topic extensively here and on RIO but I wanted to get some real time feedback from another player, as well. During my progression, I've naturally started to discover what concepts are most important and obviously bet sizing is just so absolutely critical to improving and maintaining our winrate. I've heard the argument that it's the most important aspect of the game. During my sessions, I definitely find this to be the most challenging part of play and know that this is where the majority of my money either is or isn't coming from.
    • la55i
      la55i
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      Joined: 27.01.2013 Posts: 7,609
      If we want to balance our ranges correctly, we have to bet smaller when our whole range is more value heavy. So, if your range is very strong on some specific board but your villains range is very weak there and you go ahead and still bet big, villain can overfold a lot because your range just simply doesn't have enough bluffs to balance.
      Another way (and probably better at the micros) is to play your villains range instead of your own. If your villains range is very weak you might want to go with the smaller sizing. This way your bluffs get better risk-reward ratio and you still manage to get some action with your strong hands. And if your villain is strong you can bet bigger because your bluffs need more fold equity and with your value hands you can get extra value.

      Ofc we might be able to exploit our villain several ways so using the balanced strategy might not always get us the max EV. There might be some cases where we just want to bet big with value and smaller as a bluff and not care about the fact that it is exploitable.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      Originally posted by la55i
      If we want to balance our ranges correctly, we have to bet smaller when our whole range is more value heavy. So, if your range is very strong on some specific board but your villains range is very weak there and you go ahead and still bet big, villain can overfold a lot because your range just simply doesn't have enough bluffs to balance.
      Another way (and probably better at the micros) is to play your villains range instead of your own. If your villains range is very weak you might want to go with the smaller sizing. This way your bluffs get better risk-reward ratio and you still manage to get some action with your strong hands. And if your villain is strong you can bet bigger because your bluffs need more fold equity and with your value hands you can get extra value.

      Ofc we might be able to exploit our villain several ways so using the balanced strategy might not always get us the max EV. There might be some cases where we just want to bet big with value and smaller as a bluff and not care about the fact that it is exploitable.
      Thanks for your post and your time. I'm with you 100% here.

      In the specific case of dealing with anonymous tables (as a lot of US players put in volume on Ignition) how much less concerned are we with balance and about at what hand sample size do we start to worry more about it? In other words, if we're at a table with a guy for over an hour and have 80+ hands on each other, am I to begin worrying about balancing my ranges - especially on the river - more yet, or is this still a super small sample size where I should be focusing more on exploiting fish than trying to balance myself against other "regs"?
    • la55i
      la55i
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      Joined: 27.01.2013 Posts: 7,609
      80 hands is very little. You barely get accurate VPIP/PFR with that sample size so you don't have to worry that someone starts to exploit you.
      What limits you are playing? At the lower limits you don't have to worry about balance too much. I would say that at NL25 you start to see some good players who are more balanced but still against the population there exploitative approach is probably better.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      Originally posted by la55i
      80 hands is very little. You barely get accurate VPIP/PFR with that sample size so you don't have to worry that someone starts to exploit you.
      What limits you are playing? At the lower limits you don't have to worry about balance too much. I would say that at NL25 you start to see some good players who are more balanced but still against the population there exploitative approach is probably better.
      I'm playing 10NL right now and plan on testing the waters at 25NL to start off next month. On WPN, I'm still playing 5NL as I only have a few bucks on that site and it's much, much harder there than the other networks. That said, I plan on depositing there to start next month, too so that I have a bit more of a cushion because they offer 27% rakeback and 10NL might just wind up being more profitable.

      Due to what we're discussing with sample sizes here, I've been playing both anon and reg tables on different networks to see what is most profitable for me. In the long run (and short run, too) I'll probably make out better on regular networks with large sample sizes on guys. Ignition is soft and I'll continue to play there but the profits to be made by exploiting players you have a lot of info on are indeed juicy.
    • la55i
      la55i
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      Joined: 27.01.2013 Posts: 7,609
      Yup. Having information and exploiting villains is always good. You don't necessarily need a big sample on villains if you have a good idea how the population plays and you can exploit that. But if you can't use any tracking software it might be difficult to get a good feel about the population.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      Originally posted by la55i
      Yup. Having information and exploiting villains is always good. You don't necessarily need a big sample on villains if you have a good idea how the population plays and you can exploit that. But if you can't use any tracking software it might be difficult to get a good feel about the population.
      They're anon tables but you can still use DriveHUD on Ignition, and I do. Still, getting more than 100-200 hands on any one player is a rarity. Typically I see about 30-100 with someone and a lot of players are just of the "come and go" variety whereas they come in, get stacked, and then leave all within a few minutes.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      After spending time on about three more videos that specifically pertained to bet sizing and then how to play the river, as well as about 600 hands of 10NL, I am definitely grasping the concepts we're talking about here more. Once again, thanks for taking the time to help me out, guys. It's always appreciated.

      One of the great things about the video library on this site is that it's robust while also being far more specific than the other sites. Being able to actively work on pinpoint parts of our game provides a huge boost to our progression.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      https://www.pokerstrategy.com/video/40424/

      More of the answers behind what I'm questioning in this thread are contained within this video, as well. If we have an equity advantage but are at a disadvantage in range distribution, betting larger would simply isolate us against the top part of villain's range, i.e. - the part that beats us.
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,939
      Would like to add that stats itself on small samples are often something you can make minor changes to default strategy but not much more. Default strategy could be something along GTO style or one exploiting general population tendencies. On other hand seeing hands in showdown can give lot of information from villain play style even if he is new one. E.g. we make bluff in river and villain bluff catches with combo that heavily blocks your bluffing range ---> He might be overcalling likely. Or you see villain to bluff with combo that make no sense. Or he doesnt value bet some pretty clear value bet hand IP and so on.
    • TakingAShot
      TakingAShot
      Diamond
      Joined: 29.05.2017 Posts: 368
      Originally posted by ghaleon
      Would like to add that stats itself on small samples are often something you can make minor changes to default strategy but not much more. Default strategy could be something along GTO style or one exploiting general population tendencies. On other hand seeing hands in showdown can give lot of information from villain play style even if he is new one. E.g. we make bluff in river and villain bluff catches with combo that heavily blocks your bluffing range ---> He might be overcalling likely. Or you see villain to bluff with combo that make no sense. Or he doesnt value bet some pretty clear value bet hand IP and so on.
      Last week I watched some videos and did some maths on PokerDope all centered around understanding variance. It really helped my mindset and understanding of the bigger picture. Since then, even my losing sessions have been long (3+ hours) and very small losses. Never even a full BI. In the past, I've pressed because I hadn't hit a stack in 2,000 hands or just kept getting no value with my biggest flopped combos. With my more robust knowledge and understanding in this field, I don't need to question things on that small of a scale and I know that these things are completely standard. It's helped my confidence and stability tremendously.

      As for interpreting small sample sizes: A lot of my volume has been on Ignition so that's all we really ever have on each other is small samples. I'm finding a GTO foundation, with spot exploits when they're available, to be the most stable and profitable approach at 10NL anon thus far.
    • Nmnikov1983
      Nmnikov1983
      Basic
      Joined: 29.01.2018 Posts: 1
      Hi there
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
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      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 35,842
      Originally posted by Nmnikov1983
      Hi there
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