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Value Betting - How to Maximize Value

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If you have a winning hand you certainly want to extract as much money as possible from the other players. Your winrate will depend on the money you win from your opponents, the more money the higher the rate.

We talk about maximizing the value of your hand when we refer to the process of getting money from uour opponents. There are some simple steps that can help you with this.

The key to win more money in one poker hand is getting your opponents to put money into the pot. If don't manage to get your opponents to put money into the pot, then you will not add value to your hand and as a result the amount of money you'll win when the hand is over will be the same all the way through.

If you want to get the other players to put as much money into the pot as possible, you need to bet and raise whenever you have to act, which is something that sounds simple but not many players achieve.

A common mistake when betting

Novice players tend to freeze up and check and call if they come across a strong hand because they believe that in that way they will attract their opponent and set them a trap for a big fall, this is a common mistake. All you are doing in fact when you check and call is missing chances to win more money by getting more money into the pot.

It is quite counter-productive to check and call and slowplay in general because your aim is to win money.

You'll almost never be able to check and call throughout the poker hold'em hand and get your opponents to get all their chips on the river. This makes slowplay an overall bad decision because it does not allow you to maximize the value of your hand and as a result the amount you expect to win will be lower.

Example of common value betting mistake

Suppose you are in late position and you have 3 Clover 3Diamond and then you choose to call a raise from an opponent in middle position. The flop is A Heart 9Clover 3Spades , which is a fabulous flop for your hand because now you have a set. The other player now makes a ¾ pot size bet and the next move is yours.

A common beginner mistake would be to call the bet, that is to slowplay. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get more money into the pot and make stakes bigger for the rest of the poker hand, so you should not miss this great chance to raise.

It's true that you could use a check to lure your opponent in, but it could happen that they are holding an ace, and in that case you would miss a unique chance to raise the stakes. Besides, you'll be making an allowance for a possible scare card to come on the turn, which would eventually slow the action down.

Don't be tricky to get more money in to the pot because you could miss great opportunities.

Another possibility is that you don't want to scare the other player out of the pot and so you choose not to raise. Think about it and you'll see that if the other player decides not to call a raise on the flop then you don't have many chances of getting money from him in future bet rounds.

The way to maximize value in poker

The truth is that if you are not able to get money from the other players when you are in a good position and you have a good hand, then you never really had a chance to get much money from them.

You should remember this key principle whenever you are in a similar situation. Make the most of every chance to raise and get more money into the pot if you believe the other player has a decent hand, but never get scared that your opponent folds because you didn't really have many chances of getting money from them later in the hand anyway.

You should never feel frustrated if you hold a monster poker Texas Hold'em hand and your opponent folds because you should always take the chance of raising and winning lots of money with the hand instead of just checking and wait for a bluff every time and missing the chance to win money when your opponent catches a piece of the flop.

Never be scared to bet if you are holding the best hand. Remember that you'll only win money with strong hands if you bet and raise, so do it.

Value betting on the river

The final stage in the maximizing value strategy is value betting on the river when you believe you are holding the best hand.

Beginners tend to make a common mistake: betting small on the river to get their opponents to call even when they know they have the best hand. What many amateur players think is that they don't want to bet big so as not to make their opponent fold, and so they bet small thinking that it's best to allow their opponent to call to get a little extra money. This is wrong and mathematics explain why.

Although it is true that the bigger the bet, the more chances your opponent will not call, in case your opponent calls, you'll be able to win quite a good amount of money. The other way, your opponent will call the small bet more frequently, but you'll win less money when they call.

Value betting on the river example:

Suppose that you are the last to act on the river and you feel you have the best hand. You have to decide how much you should bet and there is $ in the pot.

Also suppose that you are certain that if you bet $20, your opponent will call 7 times out of 10. On the other hand, if you decide to bet $100, your opponent will call 2 times out of 10. As a result, if you repeated each possible scenario 10 times, this is what you'll see:

  • If you bet $20 you'll win a total of $140.
  • If you bet $100 you'll win a total of $200.

As you can see, if you bet the size of the pot you'll win $60 more than if you decide to bet a small amount in order to lure your opponents in to call. By betting a larger amount, you'll get called less often but you'll also win more money.

In other words: in the long run you win more money when you make bigger bets in the river, no matter if you get called less often.

You should take into account this key concept because value betting on the river is based on long run winnings and not on getting your opponents to call small bets every time you can. At the end of the day, your profits are not going to increase due to the small victories.

Value betting evaluation

In order to maximize the value of your hands you should not be scared to bet and raise in order to get your opponent to put more money into the pot. Keep pin mind the long term rather than making your moves to suck out the value on each individual hand and avoid tricky plays and slowplay. Having you opponents fold frequently and winning big from time to time is better than picking up small pots on every big hand.

If you come across the chance to raise and get more money into the pot you shouldn't miss it since poker Texas Hold'em is about winning money, not pots. Don't feel disappointed if your opponents fold while you hold a great hand, remember that hands are only great if you can win a decent amount of money with them.

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