Thursday, October 16, 2008

Limit Strategy note: checking in front on the river

With decent but not great hands, it is very often worthwhile checking in front on the river even when you think you are ahead. There are two reasons - one, you avoid a raise from a better hand; and two, you will very often induce a bluff from a weaker hand.

Example, suppose you hold 88 UTG. You raise preflop, and all fold around to the BB, who calls. The flop comes out A76 rainbow. This is a pretty good flop for you, so you bet and the BB calls. Turn 2s making two spades on board, you bet again, BB calls. Now on almost any river card, it is probably worth check-calling rather than leading. If the BB has a busted draw, he will certainly fold. If he has a small pair he might call a bet or he might fold. A hand that beats you will raise, costing you two bets instead of one, while a weaker hand may put out a bluff bet if you check. A check is especially warranted if a scare card such as a spade or a king comes on the river, because it is reasonably likely to have made your opponent a better hand, and also it gives more incentive for a weaker hand to try and bluff.

This is a play I don't think I have engaged often enough, but recently I have been noticing just how often players will stick a bluff bet out with nothing on the river. A bonus on sites where mucked hands at showdown are not revealed is that you get to see their hand if you call their bluff bet!


TiocfaidhArLa said...

Way Ahead, Way Behind is the same term in NLHE, you can read about it on 2+2 and Harrington has a big section on it.

I'm getting the taste for Limit again reading your strategy tips, thx.

The blindman said...

Here's a perfect example:
Limit Holdem $2(BB) Pacific Game#2124320031

allineli ($9.33)
Hero ($215)
AZION87 ($208)
yanni73 ($160)
gamla314 ($317)
libertine85 ($64.05)

allineli posts (SB) $1
Hero posts (BB) $2

Dealt to Hero Ks Qs
AZION87 calls $2
yanni73 calls $2
libertine85 calls $2
allineli calls $1
Hero raises to $4
AZION87 calls $2
yanni73 calls $2
libertine85 calls $2
allineli raises to $6
Hero raises to $8 (four way I think I have enough equity to cap)
AZION87 calls $4
yanni73 calls $4
libertine85 calls $4
allineli calls $2

FLOP ($40) 6c 9s Kd
allineli bets $1.33
Hero raises to $3.33
AZION87 calls $3.33
yanni73 folds
libertine85 calls $3.33

TURN ($51.32) 6c 9s Kd Tc
Hero bets $4
AZION87 calls $4
libertine85 calls $4

RIVER ($63.32) 6c 9s Kd Tc Td
AZION87 bets $4
libertine85 folds
Hero calls $4

Hero shows Ks Qs
(Flop 80.7%, Turn 88.6%)

AZION87 shows Ah 9d
(Flop 19.3%, Turn 11.4%)

Hero wins $67.82