JOIN NOW TO VIEW THE FULL VIDEO
Free membershipJoin now
After the previous modules you should have an understanding of how to play preflop. In the later stages of SNGs, preflop is usually all there is to play. However, in the early stages of SNGs, you often find yourself in postflop situations where your preflop raise was flat called. This lesson will help you approach such spots by teaching you about several important concepts.
Playing Postflop: As the Preflop Aggressor”
In this video you will learn how to approach postflop situations where your preflop raise was flat called, and what factors are important when developing a default strategy in these spots.
After the two previous modules you should have an understanding of how to play preflop. In the later stages of SNGs, preflop is usually all there is to play. However, in the early stages of SNGs, you often find yourself in postflop situations where your preflop raise was flat called. This lesson will help you approach such spots by teaching you about four concepts:
Continuation betting, Barreling, Reacting to a donk bet, and Playing as the preflop 3-bettor. Continuation betting.
This is the most frequent postflop spot you will find yourself in. You have raised preflop, were called, and the action has either been checked to you, or you are first to act on the flop. Generally, in these situations you should be aggressive because you have the initiative and your range is typically stronger than that of your opponent. With a good hand you should bet for value. You should also bluff with as many missed hands as you can get away with. Sometimes you can combine these goals if you have a weak hand but a good draw – this is called a semibluff. You will now see when exactly it makes sense to continuation bet - shortened to "cbet" - and how much you should make it.
One of the most important things you need to check is whether the board is wet - meaning that it contains a lot of draws - or dry. Secondly, you need to find out if the pot is heads up or multi-way. In a heads up pot, you should generally cbet all but the very worst of boards. However, in multi-way pots, you should only cbet if you have hit, if the board is very dry, or if the board is highly unlikely to have hit your opponents. Another factor to consider is your position relative to your opponent’s position. As a default, you should apply the following cbetting strategy: Out of position, you should cbet all boards that you hit, almost all boards against a single opponent, and only the best boards that you miss when against multiple opponents. In position, you should check behind with your weak showdown value hands. Otherwise, you should cbet with the same hands that you would when playing out of position.
This outline of a strategy should be modified if the overall situation is, in any way, non-standard. In particular, you should think about what range your opponent is likely to have in a given spot and how he perceives your range. Another thing to look out for are additional reads regarding postflop tendencies of your opponent. If he’s tight and folds a lot to a flop bet, your cbet might be profitable regardless of your holding and the board structure. On top of that, you need to remember that if you are closer to the bubble, you should play more cautiously if a postflop spot occurs. That is because the risk-premium is higher, and potentially losing a large pot would prove much more costly than in most other stages of the tournament. The last thing to take into consideration is if your opponent has a short stack, and if he is, or can easily become, committed to the pot. In such cases, you should weigh your betting range more towards value hands since you will have to take your hand to showdown more frequently.
The sizing of your cbet depends mostly on the board texture. On a dry board you should size your bet between 40% and 50% of the pot, trying to make it closer to 40% on average. On a wet board you should size your bet between 50% and 60% of the pot, trying to make it closer to 60% on average. If you have reason to believe that an opponent’s reaction will not depend on the size of your bet - that is, he has an inelastic calling range - you can make it larger with good hands and smaller with bad hands. One adjustment to make is if a cbet of a given size commits you to the pot, but a slightly smaller size would not, you should go with the smaller size.
If your cbet gets raised on the flop, you should proceed very cautiously and straightforwardly. If you believe you have a hand that beats the opponent’s raising range, go for it. Otherwise, just fold unless you have a good draw which justifies calling.
So you raised preflop, bet the flop, and still got called. Betting the turn and/or the river after cbetting the flop is called barreling. It is also sometimes known as turn or river cbetting. If your hand beats your opponent’s likely continuation range, you should continue and bet for value. You should strive to balance your barreling range, and in order to get maximum value for your nut hands, you need to bet with some bluffs too. A good barreling card is one which either is a scare card – a card which is likely to have hit your perceived range, such as an ace - or a card which increases your equity by giving you additional outs. An important thing to consider when it comes to barreling is that you need to plan your moves ahead. Most importantly, you need to adjust your bet sizes to split the whole effective stack into two or three conveniently sized barrels. It is therefore necessary to know what your Stack to Pot Ratio is - the ratio of the pot to the remaining effective stacks. Other than that, you should be aware of what your opponent’s folding frequencies are when facing a second or third barrel.
Reacting to a donk bet.
It can happen that your opponent does not give you the chance to cbet. When you are in position, and an opponent acting before you bets out despite not being the preflop aggressor, his bet is called a donk bet. In general, these situations can be divided into two major groups. A small donk bet from a weak player is typically unbalanced and weak. Your default counter strategy should be to raise such donk bets, either as a bluff or for value. On the other hand, a larger donk bet from a weak player, or any donk bet from a good player is typically balanced and rather strong. A good player donk bets mostly on flops that you might not cbet, with all his monster hands and his drawing hands. With the former, he wants you to pay; with the latter, he wants you to fold. As his strategy is balanced, there is no simple counter. You should generally fold with your missed hands, raise with your monsters, and call with your medium-strength made hands.
Playing as the preflop 3-bettor
All of the above basically applies regardless of the preflop action, given that you were the last person with the preflop betting initiative. However, when the pot has been reraised preflop, there are several implications worth mentioning. First of all, the ranges are tighter. Your 3-betting range is surely tighter than your opening range, and it might or might not be polarised. Your opponent's calling range is tighter, and it might be capped – in this case, meaning that some of the best possible combos are not in his range – or uncapped. The other implication is that stacks on the flop are much shallower, relative to the pot size. The resulting Stack to Pot Ratio will be much lower, and there will often be no betting left on the river - or even on the turn. You need to take this into account when sizing your bets, often scaling them down in order not to become unnecessarily committed to the pot. Last but not least, most 3-bet pots are heads up. As a consequence, you are able to bluff cbet even more frequently.
In this lesson you have learned that: Your default cbetting strategy should lead to betting smaller amounts more often on dry boards, and larger amounts less often on wet boards. You should barrel on scare cards and cards giving you extra equity. You should play according to your hand strength when faced with a donk bet from a good player, or if your cbet gets raised. You can raise liberally when a weak player donkbets small into you. Playing in 3-bet pots is similar, but the ranges are tighter and the stacks are shallower.