Explanation of Vulnerable
To take an example from Hold’em, there are generally three variables to consider when deciding on the vulnerability of a holding.
1. Possibility that overcards can fall (especially the in the case of us holding a pair). High pairs are hence significantly less vulnerable than low pairs.
2. Possibility that flush draws can complete. We are hence most vulnerable on two-tone and monotone textures. We don’t need to worry so much about being outdrawn on rainbow textures since our opponent would need to catch runner-runner in order to make a flush.
3. Possibility that straight draws can complete. On boards where a straight-draw is possible we also need to consider which types of straight-draw are available (i.e. gutshots or open-enders) along with how likely they are to be in villain’s range. Mid-range textures should be considered the drawiest in this regard.
Example of Vulnerable used in a sentence -> Lower pairs are typically more vulnerable than higher pairs.
How to Use Vulnerable as Part of Your Poker Strategy
Vulnerable hands benefit from protection. This means that they should sometimes bet even if they don’t expect to be a favourite when called. The value comes from folding out some of villain’s hands that are likely to outdraw us.
Many players struggle with the concept since they have been taught that we should only bet if we are clearly value-betting or bluffing. Protection bets fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and constitute an important component of strategy.