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It is crucial to understand how postflop works when another player raised before the flop, or when no one did. This lesson will focus on playing against your opponents’ continuation bets.
Playing Postflop: Against the Preflop Aggressor”
In this video you will learn how to approach postflop situations where you called your opponent’s preflop raise And what factors are important when developing a default strategy against continuation bets.
In the previous lesson, you have learned how to play postflop if you have the initiative on your side. However, it is crucial to understand how postflop works when it is the other player who raised before the flop, or when no one did. This video will focus on playing against your opponents’ continuation bets. Other possible scenarios will be explained in the next lesson. It will be assumed that the pot is heads up. If the pot is multiway and you have no initiative, you should play very cautiously and straightforward, so it does not make much sense to analyse this here in detail. It will also be assumed that your opponent is a regular player. If he is not, your default play without the initiative should be straightforward as well, and the exceptions to that rule are too specific to be generalised.
The most common scenario is that someone open raised and you called. The first thing you should ask yourself is how the other player perceives your range. As it was assumed, your opponent is a thinking regular, which means it is very possible that he will be capable of putting you on a reasonable range of hands in general. For this reason, your perceived range in these spots is often what your actual range is. The common denominator in all spots where you defend by flatting is that your range is weighted much more towards suited and connected cards and less towards high cards. In most cases, it is capped, meaning you rarely just flat with a high pocket pair or an ace-king type hand.
As a result, the lower and the more coordinated a board is, the more you should perceive it as good for your range. You are able to take over many pots in such instances, as your range connects with these kinds of boards better than your opponent‘s range. Note that those are exactly the same boards that were mentioned in the previous lesson as ones which are bad to cbet on. This is for the exact same reason.
One of the most important things to remember is that your line needs to be telling a story consistent with your entire range. For example, on a wet board you should typically consider raising or folding. This is because raising is the play that is most consistent with your value range. If you hit a wet flop after defending preflop, you have a lot of monster hands with which you should raise to get value and to protect from draws to an even stronger hand. As previously mentioned, your bluffs should be played in the same way that you would play your good hands. You also have a lot of draws in your range, which benefit from raising as well because you realise your fold equity together with your chance to draw out.
On a dry board you don’t represent much by raising as you rarely have a monster hand and even if you do you would rarely raise it for value on a dry flop as there is nothing to protect against, and you get more value under-representing your hand and letting your opponent continue on the turn either as a bluff, or with worse value hands. As you would not raise your value hands, it is important not to do it with other holdings either. You should call a cbet with any value hand, any bluff catcher, most draws, but there aren’t many on a dry board, and some air hands as a float, depending on reads. In general, on a dry board, you should only consider calling or folding. On the other hand, on a wet board, you should typically consider all three available options, however – as it was previously explained - most often you should be looking to raise or fold. You should raise with all your value hands, most of your draws and some of your air, with a frequency depending on your opponent’s likeliness to give up. You can call with a bluff catcher or sometimes with a value hand as a trap, or with a draw if you don’t think your opponent would fold to your raise. Other than that, your default strategy on wet boards should be to raise or fold.
In this lesson you have learned that: When playing against the preflop aggressor, you should take into account your perceived range, and play straightforwardly on boards which are bad for your range, and play back a lot on boards which are good for your range. Your postflop play, largely regardless of your hand strength, should be consistent with how your whole range fares on a given board, with special attention given to its drawiness.