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StrategyNo Limit Midstack

Short Stack Strategy: How to React to Flop Raises and Donk Bets


In this article
  • How to react when an opponent raises your contibet.
  • How to react to donk bets.
  • Assumptions to make when playing unknowns.

You will often face an all-in decision on the flop without having a good made hand. Do you call or do you fold? It's not only a close call, but also a matter of value and definitely worth taking a closer look at.

Another situation you will often encounter: the donk bet. This article will show you how to react to donk bets based on equity.

Having accurate information on your opponent is imperative to making the right decision. You should have stats and reads available. If not, you will have to make general decisions and won't be able to tailor your play to a specific opponent.

This article was written for advanced players familiar with statistics, odds and outs, and pot odds. We will also address estimating hand ranges and their use. However, beginners will also find useful information on playing against unknowns.


You need to know exactly what is meant when we speak of equity and fold equity before you can look at concrete situations. We will start by clarifying these two terms.




Equity refers to the share of the pot belonging to a player based on his long term chances to win.

Take a look at a few examples of what equity is and what it means for the game.

Hero: A K
Villain: 2 2

Flop: Q, T, T

The Equilator gives you the following values:

Hero: ~ 50%
Villian: ~50%

This means 50% of the pot belongs to Hero if he goes all-in. Villain would also win 50% of the time. You use the same principle when estimating an opponent's hand range, only you enter his range instead of his hand.

We purposefully chose an example hand in which Hero has quite a few outs (and high equity accordingly). We will be taking several looks at this example hand in this article.

Fold equity


Fold equity

Fold equity refers to the share of the pot belonging to a player based on the probability that his opponent will fold.

Fold equity becomes very important when we address donk bets. However, it plays a lesser role than equity when it comes to all-ins, since you will usually have to call the all-in.

Once again we will look at our example hand from above:

Hero: A K
Villain: 2 2

Flop: Q, T, T

Assume you are first to act and make a contibet; your opponent folds. Usually only half of the pot belongs to you (based on equity), but you win the entire pot when your opponent folds.

How do you determine fold equity? Assume your opponent folds half of the time and calls the other half. We will assume we are facing an all-in situation to keep things simple.

The resulting EV is as follows:

FE= Fold equity in %
Pot= Pot size after the flop
Total Pot= Pot after the all-in

EV = FE * Pot + (100% - FE) * [Equity * Total Pot - Costs]

in our example:

EV = 50% * 8 + 50% * (0,50364 * 40 - 16)
EV = 6,07 BB

You will win 6.07 BBs on average. It is clearly better for you when your opponent folds than when he calls, despite your very high equity.


That's not the entire article...

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Comments (2)

#1 WildBeans, 30 Mar 09 11:06

<br /> Hi,<br /> The EV calculation including bluff possibilities is given as <br /> EV = FE * Pot + (100% - FE + Bluffs) * [Equity * Total Pot - Costs] + Bluff * [Equity * Total Pot - Costs]<br /> <br /> should it not be (100% - [FE + Bluffs]) ?

#2 mude, 07 Oct 09 09:58

I saw it too I think u r right