If you want to win something at the poker table, you have to set money or chips for it. This setting is called in the jargon Bet. If you bet, you should not bring chips or money into the pot without reason. The three main reasons or types for a bet are: A value bet, a bluff bet and a bet to collect the deadmoney. Today we look in detail at the Value Bet. Value bets are often the tip of the scales, whether you make money with Texas Hold’em Poker or not.
Definition of Value Bet
As the name suggests, a value bet is about value. The purpose of a value bet is to increase the pot and extract value from the opponent. In addition, a value bet is a bet in which one bets with the better hand and is called by a worse hand. For a value bet two things are necessary: the opponent has a worse hand. And the opponent pays the player out with this worse hand. With Value Bets you get money for your strong hands. Especially against passive players, aggressive placement is very important here.
Factors for a Value Bet
One factor, of course, is the opponent’s hand. The stronger his hand, the sooner he pays a big bet as he thinks he is in the advantage. In addition, it is important how much the opponent judges his hand. If he believes that the other player has the nuts, he will not put a single chip in the middle. But if he has little doubt, he can be lured into the pot with good odds .
Opponents who are unable to throw away a good hand are of course good for value bets. Such players pay for example with a pocket pair, even if they actually know that they have already lost. These players are the ideal target to get value in the pot. The opposite are then very anxious players who are often unwilling even with a good hand to invest chips in the pot.
Another factor is the so-called call thresholds. Many players have such a threshold and are unwilling to call more than a certain amount of chips. Some players have an absolute number as a threshold in mind, for others, the threshold depends on their respective stack size. But more than half of the stack only pay for the fewest players.
Anyone who has internalized these factors can decide in each situation whether his value bet should be rather large or rather small. It is much harder to find the optimal bet size for a value bet. Who sets small value bets again and again, has a handsome sum at the end of the month. If he exaggerates but regularly, he loses a lot of money, because not won money is also lost money.
Examples of a Value Bet
Example 1: The opponent has a call threshold of $ 25. If you bet $ 20 on the value bet, you lose $ 5, which is 10 percent. But if $ 30 is set, then the opponent folds and you lose $ 20. Unpaid money is, as I said, always lost money. If you bet too much on value bets, you’re making a mistake, even if you win the pot.
Example 2: Player A is on the flop and has top pair. Player A is based on many aces in the range of his opponent. He will hardly give up hands like AQ, AJ or A-10. These hands dominate player A with AK. Player A bets a value bet for the worse hands to pay him off. If player A k-5o bets against J-10o on a K-4-3r flop, this is not a value bet, as that worse hand will not call and you will not make any money.
Value Bets in unsafe game situations
Value bets are relatively easy if you have a strong hand yourself and your opponent probably has a worse hand, but he will still call. But what about situations where you do not know if you have a better hand than your opponent?
In position there are two possibilities: Bet / fold or checkbehind. If you play bet / fold, you still have the possibility of calling a weaker hand. If the opponent plays aggressively and raises the bet, one should rather give up his hand. A Checkbehind provides for Potcontrol. Here you keep the pot relatively small and want to reach the showdown. You see yourself in front, but do not want to risk all-in. Here one waives a value bet. Instead, the opponent gets a free card. At best, the opponent tries a bluff on one of the upcoming streets.
Factors for a decision are: The board, the opponent, the own position and the own absolute hand strength.
Value Bets in conjunction with other Bets
Value Bets are often associated with continuation bets. But even a semibluff can be a value bet.
As continuation bet
In some cases, a value bet may also be a continuation bet. Here’s 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 calls. The flop comes with K-3-2. Player A bets $ 1.50, the small blind calls again. On the turn comes a third. Player A bets $ 4, folding the small blind. Here player A continues a continuation bet and plays on the turn bet / fold. The opponent calls with a weaker hand on the flop. This was a value bet. Had the opponent held a draw, it would have been a value bet as well. Even the bet on the turn is a value bet as the small blind could call his little pocket pair again and check on the river to player A or play his possible flush draw as well.
As a semibluff
It seems possible to bluff at the same time and bet on value. But this is possible, too. Here’s an example: Player A has J-10 in Pick. He raises to $ 1, calling the small blind. The flop comes with Qs-3s-9h. Player A bets $ 1.50, the small blind raises to $ 3.50, Player A re-raises to $ 13, the small blind goes all in, and Player A calls. First, Player A brings a continuation bet. After Raise 3-Bettet Player A. This is a Semibluff, because Player A has no Showdown Value, but 15 outs. Player A would not mind if the small blind folded and he wins the unimproved pot.
The Semibluff Bet is also a value bet, as Player A is often in the lead with his strong hand, assuming he will automatically see the Turn and River cards after his 3-bet. Even if he “only” holds a draw, he may be against the range of the small blind favorite.