Poker Value Bets Tips and Tricks
Learning about value bets will help increase your winning chances in your next poker game.
Value Bet Examples
Example 1: The opponent has a call threshold of $25. Whoever places a value bet of $20 loses $5 and thus 10 percent. But if you bet $30, the opponent folds and you lose $20. As I said, not won money is always lost money. If you often place value bets too high, you make a mistake that you should turn off even if you win the pot.
Example 2: Player A is on the flop and has a top pair. Player A assumes many aces in his opponent’s range. He will never give up hands like AQ, AJ or A-10. These hands are dominated by player A with AK. Player A places a value bet so that the poorer hands pay him off. If player A K-5o bets against J-10o on a K-4-3r flop, this is not a value bet because this worse hand will not call and you will not make any money.
Value Bets in Uncertain Game Situations
So value bets are relatively easy if you have a strong hand yourself and your opponent has a worse hand that you will still call with. But what about situations where you don’t know whether you have a better hand than your opponent?
There are two options in position: bet / fold or check-behind. If you play bet / fold, you still have the option of a weaker hand calling. If the opponent plays aggressively and raises the bet, you should probably give up your hand. A check behind takes care of pot control. Here you keep the pot relatively small and want to get to the showdown. You see yourself in front, but you don’t want to risk all-in. There is no value bet here. Instead, the opponent receives a freecard. At best, the opponent tries to bluff on one of the upcoming streets.
Factors for a decision are here: the board, the opponent, your own position and your own absolute hand strength.
Value Bets Combined with Other Bets
Value bets are often associated with continuation bets. But a semi bluff can also be a value bet.
As a continuation bet
In certain cases, a value bet can also be a continuation bet. Here is an example: Player A is on the button and has 8-8. The small blind has 5-5. Player A raises to $1 and the small blind decides to call. The flop then comes with K-3-2. Player A bets $1.50, the small blind calls again. A third comes on the turn. Player A bets $ 4, the small blind folds. Here player A will place a continuation bet and plays on the turn bet / fold. The opponent calls with a weaker hand on the flop. So this was a value bet. If the opponent had held a draw, it would also have been a value bet. Even the bet on the turn is a value bet, since the small blind could call his small pocket pair again and check on player A on the river or play his possible flush draw in the same way.
As a semi bluff
It seems impossible to bluff and bet on value at the same time. But this is also possible. Here is an example: Player A has J-10 in Pick. He raises to $1, the small blind calls. The flop will come with Qs-3s-9h. Player A bets $1.50, while the small blind increases to $3.50, player A re-raises to $13, the small blind goes all-in and player A calls. First, player A places a continuation bet. After the raise 3-bets player A. This is a semi-bluff because player A has no showdown value but 15 outs. For player A it would not be bad if the small blind folded and he won the pot unimproved.
The semi-bluff bet is also a value bet, since player A is often in front with his strong hand if he assumes that after his 3-bet he will automatically see the turn card and the river card. Even if he “only” holds a draw, he can be favorite against the range of the small blind.