Should your bet size force out the draws on a wet board?

BethMc2dBethMc2d Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
I struggle with bet sizing when I am sure I am way ahead on the flop, but the board has a lot of draws. Suppose I raise from MP with :Td:Tc and am called by the cutoff and button, and the flop comes down :As:Ts:9h . I am reasonably confident I am way ahead as pocket aces would likely have 3-bet; but this is a draw heavy board. So the question is whether I should size my bet to something bigger than pot size to drive out some of the drawing hands, or am I losing too much equity from weaker hands (like Ax or T9) that might call (or even raise) a value bet?


  • BethMc2dBethMc2d Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
    Actually, a better example would have had the flop come :Ah:Ts:9s
  • Brews_and_CardsBrews_and_Cards Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    By my quick ranging and math, you're like an 80% favorite here. Instead of thinking about folding out the draw hands, you should be thinking about extracting as much value as you can. They will miss more often than they hit. And you want as much value as possible from them, to make up for the times that they do get there. So charge them for seeing more cards, but understand we're betting for value, not to make them fold.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 614 ✭✭✭
    Determine what range you're targeting for 3 streets of value and maximize value against hands in that range. They will play their draws by calling or folding but that doesn't really matter (if I understand the targeted range concept well).
  • MichaelBMichaelB Red Chipper Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    If you assign to your opponent the worst possible draw for your hand :Qs:JS:, that gives them 42% equity in the hand.

    Let's say the pot is $100, then you only have to bet more than $42 on the flop to show a profit. As a general rule though, on a flop like that, I don't mind betting closer to 60% of the pot, which will keep in all the draws and the second best, non-monster hands as well, such as AQ for example. Unless the guy's a total station, you don't want to be pricing out a hand like that by betting too close to pot with such a strong hand.

  • BethMc2dBethMc2d Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
    Thank you all for your advice. I often find situations in which a player hits their draw; and then there is the sense (and sometimes outright accusation) that I "let him get there" by not betting enough to get him off his draw. But if you are always betting people off their draw, then all you are really gaining is the preflop $ in the pot, and you are losing so much value from those who are either chasing draws that don't get there or who have good hands that don't beat yours and are willing to put more money into the pot post flop.
  • MichaelBMichaelB Red Chipper Posts: 211 ✭✭✭
    The people who say that kind of thing are the fish, just nod along when they say silly things like that. Bottom line is you want people calling with less equity in the hand than you, whether they're drawing or just have second best.

    P.S. I wrote my response at like 5.30 in the morning, my math was wrong re: an up and down straight flush draw. You do actually have to bet closer to 80% of the pot against a hand that strong to automatically make money, but against just a naked flush draw, between half to two thirds pot is enough. Of course, you don't actually have to bet 80% here vs the monster combo, because anything you bet is likely to get raised anyway.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,985 -
    I'd add that any local "expert" that splains to you that you're supposed to make some massive bet to "push the draws out" or whatever is almost certainly terrible at poker and easier to read than a cereal box.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,950 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    This is actually a pretty complicated topic with no easy answer. There are, in fact, times when you are ahead/have more equity, and still want your opponent to fold.

    It's a little simplistic to talk about equities on the flop when we're actually playing 2 streets of poker separately (obviously assuming your opponent doesn't just shove a straight flush draw, etc.)

    Let's make it really easy by saying we know our opponent's hand, and he has :KS::QS: on the :AH::TS::9S: flop. The math is simpler here, you have 2/3 equity and he has 1/3. But that's not really the relevant factor for sizing your flop bet. Really the equity is around 77/23 for one card to come. Again this is assuming you know what he has and can play perfectly if he hits his hand. Even in this simple case we still can't figure out exactly what to do, because there are many options for him hitting his hand, and then we have bet sizing calculations to figure out what you can call on your redraw to a boat on the turn.

    So we want him to either fold his equity, or call enough that he's making a mistake. If he has 23% equity then obviously we can't be betting $10 into $50 and hope to do well. But even if we find the sweetspot, we still have more work to do because, for example, the :9S: might come on the turn leaving us with implied odds to figure out.

    The bottom line is you can't really figure this out even when you know his hand, let alone when you don't. You have to use some heuristics and judgement. In NLH:TAP Sklansky and Miller say generally when there are multiple draws, you should bet more. That seems right intuitively to me.

    That still doesn't really answer your question though. I know some players who literally will never fold a flush draw, let alone a combo draw. So against them, if you knew their hand you would simply shove.

    As for trying to figure out if they have a big draw, or a simpler hand like AJ, I usually find that the wet board makes this kind of even out. They are more suspicious that you are on a draw as well, and are more willing to call bigger bets than with the same hand on dry/static boards. (Note that because of the A, this board is still wet, but not as dynamic as it could be.)
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,950 ✭✭✭✭✭
    LeChiffre wrote: »
    Determine what range you're targeting for 3 streets of value and maximize value against hands in that range.

    This is difficult to do though. For example let's just say for some weird reason you could put them on a range of :QS::JS: and :AD::4D: (with both being equally likely) . You would play against these hands very differently. There are ways of expanding this range to a large number of hands for which that would still be true.

  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    So, at the lowest stakes, I actually like to go something like 50-70% pot on the flop. I'm not "pushing out draws", I'm punishing the tendancies of most lower stakes players will either always wanna peel 1 or 2, or may shove on you. Do I "push" out A7? Sure. But how much value was I really gonna extract from him anyways? A single 35% pot size bet? Somewhere in the poker ether online and books and videos, people talked about bigger bets always being better. On a board like this, either they got something to continue with that has equity, or they don't. So if they aren't gonna fold, why not charge em a bit more for it? In addition, if you play your draws like this, and they DO start folding out hands like AQ, which are beating you....then your printing $. Who knows, they might even shove on you :), then you just gotta sweat.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,807 -
    edited March 2019
    GTO solvers are unbiased by ideas meat based processors have developed.

    The concept of a hand being a "draw" vs "made" is not even a thing. When we use those terms, the implication is the draw is behind and the made hand is ahead. This is just not true for all hands in your range.

    Assuming we bet, we need to think that our bet is there to shape the Villain range. Further, we are not shaping it to be behind our hand, nor to get fold equity against our hand.

    What we are doing is shaping Villain range versus our range that would take that action. There is a ton of book keeping and that is why there are solvers that do the work.

    With a strong made hand, we are getting value from all the made hands and denying equity to everything that can outdraw us.

    With a medium made hand, we are getting value from some made hands, denying equity to everything that can outdraw us. We are sacrificing EV to Villain's better made hands and accounting for that with the value generated from the rest of the range.

    With a protection bet bluff, we are denying equity to weak made hands that will fold and to draws that are ahead of us because they likely have two overs also.

    Put all this reasoning together for each hand in our range that would take this action and we are doing all these things at the same time in some sense because from the Villain perspective we could have any of the hands in our range.

    When Villain has a weak made hand, he is either paying off, letting us value own, or bluff catching depending on what we show up with.

    When Villain has a solid draw, he is actualizing his equity, he is getting value when he has a draw that happens to have more SDV unimproved.

    So, this idea of making the draws pay is focusing on one particular class of hands in the Villain range while ignoring the others. In the same way the question is focusing on one particular class of hands in our range.

    It is complicated.

    Run a solver, look at all the betting range. Take each hand in turn and compare it to every hand in Villain range. Ask yourself "Why is this bet being made versus this particular Villain hand?" If there are ten combos in each range, for example, you would have 100 answers after looping through each range.

    Do this, and you will understand that our proclivity to ascribe reasons to a bet are a bit of a foible. It is often shorthand for the overwhelming composition of your 100 answers, but does not fully describe why we do something.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    @Doug Hull All hail our robot overlords
  • BethMc2dBethMc2d Red Chipper Posts: 6 ✭✭
    @ Doug Hull Thank you for this explanation!

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