Explanation of Value Bet

One of the most important reasons for betting in poker is when we have a strong holding and want our opponent to pay us off with worse hands. Note that it is not enough to occasionally be paid off by worse hands, we should expect to have the best hand the majority of the time when called in order for value betting to be profitable. More information in the strategy application.

Example of Value Bet used in a sentence -> We had top set on the river and so put out a sizeable value bet.

How to Use Value Bet as Part of Your Poker Strategy

In slightly more technical terms we should usually consider making a value bet when the following condition is met:

Value bet – We can bet for value if we expect to have over 50% equity vs our opponent’s calling range. 

Although this is a decent rule of thumb for the most part it doesn’t hold true in every scenario. For example, if our opponent is raising with a high frequency (and we are forced to fold) the rule breaks down somewhat. Just because we are good those times our opponent calls does not make up for the fact that we are being forced to discard our hand when facing a high frequency of raises. 

Value bet sizing is also important. On a very basic level strong made hands will use to make large bet sizings while weaker or mid-strength made hands will typically use smaller sizings. In scenarios where a mid-strength hand attempts to bet large, it runs the risk of only being called by hands that have it beat (the weaker hands all fold against the large sizing). This is typically referred to as “isolating against better”.

See Also 

Bluff, Semi Bluff, Sizing, Action, Range

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