# If your range incentivizes a check but your specific hand wants to bet, how do you decide?

Red Chipper Posts: 11 ✭✭
In tougher games where you have to think about range vs range instead of just your specific hole cards vs their range/hand, what is the decision making process into whether you choose to check/bet?

• Red Chipper Posts: 1,200 ✭✭✭✭
Unless you have a direct exploitative reason, you should do what's best for your range. That being said, it's rare that you have a 100% checking range. I would ensure that if your specific hand wants a bet that you have constructed in such a way that the hand is protected.
• Red Chipper Posts: 316 ✭✭
How do you decide which action to take when your in the 50/50? Flip a coin at the table?
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,200 ✭✭✭✭
blindraise wrote: »
How do you decide which action to take when your in the 50/50? Flip a coin at the table?

Are you referring to betting and checking 50% of each in your range? If you're studying solver work, your exact hand would either fall into the betting portion or the checking portion. Typical reasons that it would fall into one or the other would be whether the hand blocks/unblocks value hands for your opponent or blocks/unblocks draws.
• Red Chipper Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
Ninjah wrote: »
blindraise wrote: »
How do you decide which action to take when your in the 50/50? Flip a coin at the table?

Are you referring to betting and checking 50% of each in your range? If you're studying solver work, your exact hand would either fall into the betting portion or the checking portion. Typical reasons that it would fall into one or the other would be whether the hand blocks/unblocks value hands for your opponent or blocks/unblocks draws.

I guess he rather means: "When in the mixed strategy, this combo should bet 50% of the time and check 50% of the time, how do I know that in this hand in particular I should check or bet?"
• Red Chipper Posts: 4,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
Look to the reasons something is mixed in the first place. If a pure strategy incentivizes the opponent to take a different action, a mixed strategy becomes the re-counter. That's the toy game concept. In reality, your opponent will likely be taking a response now or later in the hand which will clearly indicate which line you want to take now, if only because there are so many moving parts to any strategy in a 52 card game. Only at equilibrium would you want to necessarily randomize, aka flip a coin, such as when you are playing a computer or computer-level player.

And that's only one reason to make a choice despite an advised mix - there are others. Conversely, there are reasons to go straight to flipping the coin, but that's not really the question here.
• Red Chipper Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
Fun fact: actually making the coin flip at the table at the sight of Villain and all other players creates a LOT of action :D
• Red Chipper Posts: 1,585 ✭✭✭✭
edited June 2020
splashbros wrote: »
In tougher games where you have to think about range vs range instead of just your specific hole cards vs their range/hand, what is the decision making process into whether you choose to check/bet?

If your range incentivizes a check but your specific hand wants to bet, how do you decide?

You ask a great question. I assume you are doing some solver work?

Like others have said if your range checks at high frequency some of your strong hands have to check. Checking some of these stronger hands "protects" your checking range.

But exactly how or if you really need to protect your checking range depends a lot on the specific spot, and your opponents.

For example, you raise the BTN and the BB calls. Most of your top end range(likely 3 street value hands) will want to bet the flop. If you check behind on the flop and the BB never overbets(95% true in my games) we have WAY less incentive to "protect" our checking range. So if you run a GTO solution that doesn't giver OOP a turn overbet sizes things shift. You also have to consider things like how strong is your BB's range vs your check-back range, how likely are you to check back and hit other strong hands, how polarized is your range, do blockers come into play... This rabbit hole gets very deep very quickly.

Even more complicated is the wide range of OOP. ie SBvBB where it is now more common to check with stronger combos since protecting your checking range matters much more, and it a more common event.

So there is no easy answer. I take three approaches in my study:

1) Run the solver and look for combos that are pure check/bets. I try to make sure that I at least get this right. Then with all the mixing, I try to get a general feel. In the spots that I know very well(not enough I should stop typing and go study) I use my best estimate and have RNG up on my table

2) Whenever I can simplify a GTO model at a low total EV cost I do so.

3) If I know something about my opponent and/or player pools I will use that info