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Maximizing Profits: Value Betting Basics

The goal of every poker player is to maximize their profitability in every situation possible. One of the most misunderstood ways of doing this is value betting. Value betting is how players amass large chip stacks, because they are able to discern the correct amount to bet with the best hand to induce a call from their opponent. It is an effort to gain the maximum value from your winning hand. Using this bet to its full potential requires you to have some information on your opponents.

 

The first thing you will want to do is to be able to get a read on the range of hands they play after the flop, and be able to deduce the strength of there hand. You want to be in a situation where they feel their hand is good when it is not, the stronger hand they hold, they more money you can get them to put into the pot.

 

You also need to be able to figure out how they perceive their hand. Players often get married to their hands and will refuse to fold an over pair or other big losing hand. You can often extract a lot of value against this type of player, so bet big when you know you are in this situation. A lot of players are going to be very reluctant to put a large percentage of their stack in the middle, so make sure you know who they are, and make your value bets smaller against them.

 

With this information about your opponents you will be able to decide which situations you should be value betting large in, and which ones you should be betting smaller. Knowing those situations is the first step, but you now must figure out what large and small actually equate to in bet size. You do not want to consistently over value bet, because over time, you will be losing money by players folding instead of calling a smaller bet.

 

If you are playing 2/5 and the maximum a player wants to call in this hand is $250, if you make a $200 bet, you lose $50 in value when they call and you win. If you make that same bet at $300, and the player folds, you have now lost $250 in value. Some players see it as OK because you still picked up that players pre-flop money, but remember, poker is all about maximizing profit. It is crucially important to make money at every opportunity possible, and a poor value bet is a wasted opportunity. You will make bad value bets, but use them as learning experiences of what not to bet in those situations, and make the proper adjustments the next time you are in a similar one.

 

This is the very basics of value betting, but learning these is key to being able to expand your knowledge and know how on the subject. Value betting can be the difference between a losing session and a winning one. You will go through some trial and error, but once you have it down, you will see a definite increase in your bankroll.

The Basics of Value Betting

Short Term EV

5 Mistakes When Playing Pocket Aces

Playing Irrational Players

Thinking Through Your Poker Hands

Playing Your Draws Aggressively

Basic Bankroll Management

Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 1

9 Reasons You Lose At Cash Games

NLHE Table Selection

Playing Middle Suited Connectors

Playing OverPairs

Avoiding Tilt

6 Tips for Beginners

Playing The Turn in NLHE

Tournament Play - Playing The Shortstack

Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 2