In poker, value is the desire to increase the value of the pot in the game. And we will talk about how players get value for themselves in more detail.
Probably everyone knows that the goal of any player at the poker table is not just to win but to win as much as possible – to take a very large pot in the game. And the pot, as we remember, fills up with the mandatory players’ bets, that is, the small and big blinds, or ante and voluntary bets – which are made by the participants during the bidding process.
Getting the most out of value in poker
Getting value in online poker is getting the most out of your hand. Players acquire this skill in the process of practice, improving their game and results the more time they spend at the poker table.
Experienced players treat every bet they make as a value bet. And all of them are directed at increasing the pot of the game, which can potentially go to the best one of them if they win.
Value betting in poker
Value betting is a strategy that the player with the strongest hand uses to not only win the hand but to provoke his opponent to bet as much money as possible in order to increase the size of the pot which is being played for.
Correctly made decisions of the player can significantly increase their winnings. But to achieve this, you need to be well versed in situations at the table, in the behaviour and style of play of your opponents, and of course, be confident in the strength of your hand in relation to other players.
In order to persuade your opponent to invest as much as possible in the pot of the game, you will need to bet yourself and answer with raises, a call or check are not very suitable here, they make no sense if you decide to place a value bet. Sometimes you can resort to slowplay, but only sometimes. And remember that predictable reactions or the same type of decisions can be used against you in online poker.
Raising a bet made by the opponent in order to extract value may not work, that is, the opponent may be afraid to continue trading and simply fold. So the raising player will only get the pot that was created previously.
This means that raises should be made without frightening your opponent. To understand which of the raising options will work best, you need to take the following circumstances into account:
- the opponent’s playing style; you already know that a tight player does not like risk and raises, but those who use an aggressive or loose style of play participate in it much more actively
- What is already on the board or table structure. The community cards can be a direct hint at the likelihood of a raiser having a strong hand. It is sometimes clear that someone at the table is likely to have a straight or a flush during the flop.
- Keep an eye on your opponents’ range of hands as well as the community cards on the board. It is unlikely that opponents will call your raise if it is clear from the board and his previous actions that they have weak cards.
If we talk about the best raise size for value, there are several main options – the minimum raise, medium and high. Let’s take a closer look at them:
- The minimum raise size – you need to make a small raise if your opponent does not like to take risks or you are not yet sure that they have a strong enough hand. The minimum raise will not only save you from someone else’s fold, but it can also persuade the opponent to reraise (over-raising your raise), which means that the pot will increase – that’s value.
- A medium value raise is ideal in a situation where you are confident that your opponent has a strong enough combination and intends to play it further, especially if it is in his style.
- A high value raise – when the bet exceeds the size of the pot. Use it when you are confident that your opponent will call you and not fold. Let’s say your opponent has a full house, flush, or straight and is set to go to showdown, but your hand is stronger. Here the desire of the opponent will play into your hands.
The main goal of value raising is to get the maximum possible profit by increasing the pot. And here, it is very important not to scare the opponent away with your raise size – he should not pass and thus deprive you of part of the hypothetical win. Try to keep an eye on the players at the table to establish the optimal value bet size.
Any value bet is a strategic move, which means that your action should be thought-through and logical. Establish the potential of your opponent’s hands, watch their determination and, of course, the structure of the board. You need to be extra careful on the final street of poker – on the river, often there are participants with very good hands who want to get to the showdown. By choosing the size of the raise correctly and making the right decision regarding your combination, you can significantly increase the size of your potential win.
Value betting strategy tips for beginners
To successfully place value bets, you should follow these rules:
- First, you need to give your opponent a certain range of hands. The options are counted before and after the hero.
- Checking will be the best option if you can’t put your opponent on a specific range.
- If the opponent’s calling range is higher than the combinations that beat the hero, there is no value in the bet.
- Understand your goal. The task is to bet on value or bluff.
- It is important to understand the opponent’s playing style. It is better to place small/medium bets against a tight player. They can call them according to pot chances. An aggressive poker player can be provoked to bet by a small raise or check.
- Make notes and notice the features of the opponent’s game. Pay attention to whether they are bluffing on the river after checking, whether they call bets too often, whether he is straightforward or comes up with moves, and so on.
- The position helps to make it easier to read an opponent’s hand: in the late game, they can control the hand better, know the actions of their opponents, and bet for value with a wider range.
- The larger the bet, the smaller the range that will get called. However, the winning amount will be much larger if such a combination wins.
- Online poker players are known to be more willing to call than to fold. Sometimes a call post-flop is made out of curiosity to see the next card or opponent’s hand.
- Don’t be afraid to catch up on the river: in many situations, small value bets in position even with 3-pair or A-high are profitable actions.
- Often a check on the river from an opponent without position means they’re giving up or want to see a showdown with a medium-strength hand.
- The principles of value betting in MTTs are different from cash tables. ICM calculations often do not allow betting in marginal situations.
- In big pots, variance fluctuations are large, so you need to adhere to strict bankroll rules.
- The correct interpretation of the statistics obtained from the HUD and other services is important.
- In multi-way pots, it’s much more common than in heads-up bets to be directed towards value bets.
Success in online poker depends on how well you use your opportunities and act in the moment. Then value betting will be the right choice.