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.