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Thread: C-betting

  1. #1
    bambini's Avatar
    bambini is offline Senior Member
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    Default C-betting

    Hi gang! Sorry I've not been posting as much: having a baby means less time for poker, plus I've gotten myself hooked on GTA online :) nevertheless I've been lurking here and dabbling on Stars from time-to-time.

    Had a question about my c-betting strategy. You see, when it's me and one other player I'm a hand, I will c-bet every time, without fail. It's more or less automatic for me. By and large, this strategy works for me, and I take down a lot of pots in this way. However, there are times when I'd like to check (e.g. I'm holding AA and it's a dry board so
    I'd like to allow the guy to catch up a little). I don't, however, because I'm worried that since it's so out of character I'd basically be playing my hand face up if I check.

    What do you guys do? What should I do? Should I occasionally check my flops to mix up my play? Should I just check my hands when I know I'm probably way ahead and hope for the best?
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

  2. #2
    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    Against completely random opponents just stick to what has been working. They aren't paying attention most of the time. As far as a strategy as a whole I could see checking hands like inside draws. These are hands that could turn into a monster but that you'd hate to get check-raised off of. Other than that, I'd c-bet most of the time.
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  3. #3
    bambini's Avatar
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    Default C-betting

    Ok, but not checking my big hands like a flopped straight on a pretty safe board? Worried I'm missing out on value by c-betting and causing them to fold.
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

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    J_Verschueren's Avatar
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    It's a bit either - or... either you check you weak and your big hands and bet the stuff in the middle (for deception) or, depending on game conditions, you go the other way (polarising your range and betting the stuff in the middle for value). Either way you're going with table tendency, imo.

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    Queso's Avatar
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    At WPT boot camp they taught to C-bet nearly 100% of the time if you have 2 callers or less, regardless of your hand, position, and flop texture... unless the board is highly coordinated and you are out of position, in which case you might just check.

    If you get more than two callers, you should almost always check and fold... [I]unless[I] the board is extremely dry, in which case you can take a stab.

    It's your responsibility to find an opening pre-flop raise size that gets you 1 or 2 callers at most on average.

    If called on the flop, you must then fire a turn barrel with an appropriate frequency, or else your C-betting strategy as outlined above will fall apart because players will learn they can just float you to beat you.

    The appropriate frequency is:

    not whenever you feel like it. :)

    1. If the turn improves your hand, fire again.

    2. If the turn gives you two pair or better, or a draw of 8 outs or more, fire again.

    3. If an A, K, or Q falls which is an over card to the board, fire again as it will often be a scare card to your opponent.

    The critical thing to keep in mind is that your C-bets only need to work around 35% of the time to be profitable. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that they never work even if they seem to fail more than 50% of the time.

    And yes, you're exactly right, when you C-bet this aggressively, and then suddenly check because you flopped a big hand, even the most dull of your opponents will rightly suspect a trap. This is why it's profitable to bet even when you have a big hand. Because you C-bet so much, your opponents will never know if you hit the flop or not. They can't just let you steal and steal and steal so they will call you down quite often. Even when you miss, you can still frequently take the pot with an appropriate turn-barrel firing frequency. And even when you're called on the turn, you will often complete your draws or make your hand on the river.
    Last edited by Queso; Sep 19th, 2014 at 10:53 PM.

  6. #6
    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    I must admit I do like the thought process for when to fire on the turn that you listed there. If I played I'd actually adjust my play style with some of that... if I could remember how to play.
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    zen2poker is offline Junior Member
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    Default 6 Max

    Any similar strategy or modifications of this strategy available for 6 Max?

    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    I must admit I do like the thought process for when to fire on the turn that you listed there. If I played I'd actually adjust my play style with some of that... if I could remember how to play.

  8. #8
    Queso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen2poker View Post
    Any similar strategy or modifications of this strategy available for 6 Max?
    Not really. You play the same way. But you adjust your hand selection based on position (basically, middle position disappears). And of course hand values go up and you must account for that. Otherwise the strategy doesn't change.

    And what I outlined is very basic; there are many modifications and adjustments you should make based on all kinds of table factors and conditions, but for the most part, you stick with default strategy and don't deviate without very good and specific reasons. Mostly it's based on your ability to determine whether you should primarily be playing an aggressive "premium hand" type strategy (basically playing hands that you expect to hold up at showdown) against competition that primarily overvalues their hands and allows for lots of betting for value, (passive table) or whether you should be sitting back and trying to pick off overaggressive players with speculative hands (aggressive table). This can change from hour to hour as well, so constantly being observant and playing against the prevalent weakness of your particular current table.

  9. #9
    bambini's Avatar
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    Default C-betting

    Sorry Queso, only just read your replies here. Thanks for your feedback - sounds like you gained a lot of good strategy tips at boot camp! I really like the turn strategy, so I'm gonna start incorporating that into my play. I'm also probably going to start c-betting more when I have 2 callers, as I usually aim to only c-bet about 1/3 of the time in these spots.
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

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