Betting for protection

    • Kidsoldja
      Joined: 18.05.2010 Posts: 51
      The idea of betting for protection is something that has confused me lately. Quite simply, I'm wondering how valid the concept is. Many people talk of betting in terms of three categories: value (get worse hands to call) , bluff (get better hands to fold), and protection. This third category is quite strange to me and I'm hoping to get some discussion to hopefully clarify things.

      The "protection" category is supposed to be hands that are vulnerable to either strong draws (flush draws or open ended straight draws for example), or overcards. For example, in nlhe a hand like 6h7h on Kc 7s 2d is often facing 6 outs from pretty much every hand in an opponent's range. The "protection" proponents would advocate betting here in order to "protect" our equity. Or, in other words, not give them a free shot at overtaking us.

      The strange thing here though is that we have a hand that doesn't really get called by worse, hence it isn't a value bet, but it isn't really going to get anything better to fold, so it isn't a bluff. If it can't do either of those two things then it seems to me that we would be better off betting complete air like 9hTh which can actually fold out better hands, and preserving the value of our 67 by checking and seeing a turn/hopefully getting to showdown for free or at least fairly cheaply.

      But are we giving up equity too often as the "protection" proponents state? Is there some concept that I'm missing and there is value in betting despite never having our bet fall into the "value" or "bluff" categories?

      The above mostly confuses me in a context of big bet games where getting checkraised with marginal hands is a disaster. In limit holdem, for example, we don't love getting checkraised on this flop with 67, but we can call down and see a showdown. Not so in nlhe. If we get checkraised in a HU game for example, we can call one street, but not turn or river. So why not use the money that we would put in to bet/call a flop checkraise and call turn and river bets (assuming the board doesn't run off too ridiculously)? It's just about the same amount of money and we actually get to see a showdown.

      I know many say we are giving six free outs to our opponents, but I can't see how betting our hand here does anything more than turn it into a bluff, and a useless one at that.

      Anyways, hopefully this makes sense and gets some discussion going. I can try to come up with some more scenarios if this one is a little dodgy or if it would be helpful in any way.
  • 1 reply
    • RahXephon1
      Joined: 14.04.2009 Posts: 972
      Baluga whale says something in the line of "protection doesn't exist" You basically bet to win the opponent equity on the spot 25% with overcards for example against your TP. It will also make playing your small pairs easier since you just bet fold and you will not get into tough spots when overcards fall later, you will get also a nice balance for your bluff c-bets since bet flop check turn will not always be air and you can call river against a player that likes to stab or when you improve.