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Best of ... Sample Hands - Part VIII (Short handed/6max)

    • Stefan1000
      Joined: 24.01.2006 Posts: 1,649
      ******* Hand 1 ********

      CO = Callingstation
      BU = LAG

      2.00/4.00 Fixed-Limit Hold'em (6 handed)
      Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grab'em by

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 8:heart: , 9:heart:
      2 folds, CO calls, BU raises, SB folds, Hero calls, CO calls.

      Flop: (6.50 SB) J:club: , 8:spade: , 9:spade: (3 players)
      Hero bets, CO calls, BU raises, Hero 3-bets, CO calls, BU calls.

      Turn: (7.75 BB) 5:spade: (2 players)
      Hero bets, CO calls, BU calls.

      River: (10.75 BB) 2:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets, CO calls, BU calls.

      Final Pot: 10.75 BB

      We're in the BB with 89s. CO calls and the button raises. We have odds of 1:5 on a call, but need only 1:3.5 for suited connectors. We have an easy call and happily hit twopair on the flop.

      We now have 2 possibilities on the flop:


        a) c/r Flop
        b) bet/3bet Flop

      Many would default to check/raise on the flop, but as we can see, Hero decides to donk.

      What are the advantages of a donkbet compared to c/r flop?

      - we have the chance to draw in the callingstation for 1-3 SB by trapping the CO between us and the aggressor. CO will often call because the board offers up many variants of made hands and draws.

      - We prevent BU from taking a freecard on the flop (even if it's rare).

      - because BU is a LAG, he will often raise the flop. Since the board is very draw heavy, his raising range will be larger because he could raise draws for a freecard as well as made hands. The fact that BU will often suspect we have a draw after our donk is the reason why he will raise a lot of made hands.

      - we can place a 3bet directly on the flop and get maximum value. We'll often be ahead with 2 pair and can raise for value.

      - if CO would have called a c/r, he'll also call 2SB after a 3bet on the flop and we'll get +2 SB.

      - We make the pot large from the beginning with this line and thereby bind both players to the pot on the flop. CO and BU will often stay on the turn even with marginal draws or made hands and even pay us off on the river too. Calling stations are sometimes so foolish as to not part with their weak made hands once the pot has crossed a certain threshold.

      - our implied odds rise by binding both players to the pot, so we get even more than +2 SB on the flop.

      We can see that we'll get more value on average from a donkbet than from a c/r on the flop.

      If BU is a solid/passive player who will switch to call mode with a lot of made hands and who can read us on a bet/3bet, then it would be better to check/raise instead of donk/3betting.

      This arrangement, CO= calling station + BU= LAG, however, lends itself to this line.

      ******* Hand 2 ********

      c/r & c/c Flop in unraised Pots

      Scenarios like the one above often turn out like this:

      We're in the BB: Co calls, SB completes, Hero checks
      We're in the SB: Co calls, Hero completes, BB checks

      We're HU in the BB: Co calls, SB folds, Hero checks

      As announced in the last example hand thread, this week I will address the topic of c/r flop in unraised pots. I will analyze the situation in the context of opposition, our hand, and the board and show where it is better not to donk the flop but rather to induce bets from other players with a check behind.

      a) uncoordinated rainbow flops with one high card

      Flop: (6.00 SB) K , 7 , 2 (2 players)

      Assume that we completed K9o from the SB or checked from the BB. We hit top pair on a board where the opposition will rarely have hit.
      Since a donkbet will drive out the opposition immediately and since our hand is relatively robust because few draws are possible and only the A can hurt us as an overcard, it's good to check the flop and probably draw a bet from a player behind us (CO) and then to counter with a c/r.

      This works best against aggressive players since they also know that probably nobody has hit the flop and will often start a bluff to try and steal the pot with one bet on the flop.

      Against which opponents is a c/r not suitable in this situation?

      Against calling stations it's better to donk the flop right away since they are more prepared to call an SB than to make a bet of their own, bluff or no. Many calling stations are prepared to call 1 SB on the flop and then to fold UI on the turn, but they will not bet made hands and surely not make bluffs. For this reason, it's better to get them to call with a flop bet rather than hoping for them to bet of their own accord.

      C/r against maniacs on tilt is also not ideal since we can play bet/3bet on the flop and extract the most value right away.

      b): paired highcard- boards with a rag card

      Flop: (6.00 SB) K , K , 4 (2 players)

      The same principles apply here but in a stronger form as in the first example. We have K9 in the SB or BB and hit trips. Our hand is very strong and nigh invincible. The opposition will seldom have hit anything and a freecard will hardly hurt our trips. If we bet, the opposition will almost always fold. The board invites a donkbet on the flop for a steal. We will shamelessly use this to our advantage by checking, thereby signaling that we do not have a made hand and then wait for the CO to bet, whereupon we will raise. This move is strongest when the CO is an aggressive player and SB is a callingstation. We can often induce a bet from CO that SB will call and we can then trap the SB and get 2 SB on the flop.

      Against bluffing LAG's it's also possible just to play check/call on the flop and then to check/raise the turn. Some LAG's won't even think about our potential hands and so against LAG's who are prepared to make another bluff bet on the turn this line is a good variant for extracting maximum value. But if they are even prepared to make a bluff 3bet on the flop or to call our c/r and raise the turn again, then c/r is the better variant.

      Against which opponents is a c/r not suitable in this situation?

      See a)

      c): Ace high rainbow board with 2 rags

      Flop: (6.00 SB) A , 2 , 6 (2 players)

      Suppose we're in the SB and complete A2s. We hit 2pair on a non-dangerous board. We are probably very far ahead and because nobody has raised it is unlikely that anybody has an ace. This board also invites bluffs and we should try to induce betting rather than causing a lot of folds with a bet of our own. Assume CO is an aggressive player and might even limp with an A. If the opposition is overplaying his hand then c/r flop will get us the most value on the flop if he calls us on the flop with the intention of raising again on the turn. We can then respond to the raise with a 3bet and get 3BB on the turn. This scenario is unlikely but cannot be ruled out.

      Against which opponents is a c/r not suitable in this situation?

      see a)



      A c/r flop in unraised pots is always advantageous whenever the following criteria are fulfilled:

        - The opposition is behind us and aggressive.
        - The board is dry and without draws, from which follows:

        - The opposition will often try to steal the pot with a donk bet on the flop since they know that we will rarely have hit anything.
        - A freecard won't hurt us because the opposition has no outs against us.

        - we are in middle position and have the chance to check/raise the whole field.

      When and why is c/r flop inappropriate in an unraised pot?

      A c/r flop in an unraised pot is inappropriate if the opposition consists of calling stations (for reasons, see above).
      On draw heavy boards with marginal made hands like midpair we should also bet right on the flop. The problem is that on draw heavy boards the opposition

      a) has more outs against us and
      b) these outs will be realized more often by a freecard since the tendency to bluff is greatl reduced. This is because the fold equity is less on draw heavy boards than on dry boards.

      If our hand is strong enough, we will induce a raise from a draw often enough by betting ourselves. Since we are ahead against draws, we can get paid the most with bet/3bet flop.

      Flop: (6.00 SB) A , 2 , 6 (2 players) <- with our hand from c), don't c/r but bet/3bet flop!

      c/r flop in unraised heads-up pot

      Assume we are in BB, CO calls and SB folds. We find ourselves in the situation mentioned above. Since many opponents, ourselves, included, will react to a check with a bet, we can use this reflex to our advantage and check/raise good made hands on the flop without the initiative.

      This mode of play is a common practice of Stoxtrader. If you've seen his videos, you know what I'm talking about.

      We should mix up our game, of course, and donk with made hands too. If the opposition calls the flop donk from example a), we should check/raise the turn. The reason is that some TAG's will try to float and make a bluff call or call with marginal made hands. If we check on the turn, the opposition will often interpret the donk as a steal attempt and try to take the pot by betting the turn.
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