In this article we are going to look at a couple of hands and various types of flops and see how I would handle them. In the first hand we have the Ac-4c and it is folded around to us on the button and we make it 3.5bb.
The big blind calls and checks the flop which in the first instance is 10d-8c-5s. Here I think c-betting is more marginal even when heads up. We have little hand equity with just the three outs to the ace and backdoor straight draw and flush draw.
The board is quite dry and so our fold equity is adequate but not great as the highest card is a ten. This is also a situation where if you have been raising on the button frequently then you don’t always have to c-bet and your fold equity will fall accordingly.
Adjusting Your Range
If I had been very aggressive from position on previous orbits then this may be the deciding factor on whether or not I c-bet in this position. The fact that I may be forced into either giving up on the turn or firing a second barrel with little equity may be the deciding factor in me checking this.
Now let us look at another flop of Kh-9c-8c. This gives us the flush draw and ace overcard and the fold equity of the king which we can represent being the pre-flop raiser.
So I am definitely c-betting here 100% of the time. Many drawing hands, weak pairs, pairs + draws, overcards and floats may call our c-bet that would also give up to a turn barrel. Also another barrel on the turn could even get a hand like K-7s to fold fearing domination.
So it is the combination of pot equity and fold equity that largely dictates your bluffing strategy. However we also need to add other factors into the mix as well.
What is Your Image
These are our image and the player type. For example let us say that we are up against a very loose-passive player or in other words the typical calling station.
It is clear in these situations that our fold equity is much less. So even allowing for increased pot equity then we probably need to bluff far less against this type of opponent and concentrate on value betting.
These are the adjustments that you need to make against different player types. Tight-aggressive players on the whole can be bluffed more during the early stages of the hand……because they are tight. This is especially the case when they are multi-tabling and earning rakeback and sign up bonuses.
When tight-aggressive players decide to play for stacks then you need a big hand as a rule to play with them. On the other hand then tight-passive players can also be bluffed during the early stages of the hands but once again the fold equity decreases sharply when the pot really starts to escalate on the turn and river.
Loose-passive players are the calling stations and these are the types that you need to value bet more and bluff less. However there are far less of these opponents around once you play at decent levels in online poker. Loose-aggressive players can certainly be bluffed more and in bigger pots as well.
Raising More With Bluffs
This is simply because they are raising and re-raising more with bluffs and semi-bluffs. So your opponent type has a huge impact on your fold equity and so this needs to be taken into consideration when you look to bluff beyond the flop.
So factors like your pot equity, fold equity, your image, board texture and opponent type dictate your play post flop.
Don’t just blindly c-bet all the time and certainly don’t entertain c-betting on the whole when you have more than one opponent and little pot equity and fold equity.
A classic example can be seen where we have raised with A-Q and are called by both blinds. The flop comes K-8-7 with two diamonds and both blinds check.
In a heads up pot then we just have enough fold equity here to c-bet but with two opponents then our chronic lack of pot equity overrides that. We just have the ace overcard and our queen could be an out depending on what villains hold.
However we need to downgrade the outs to the queen and so I would only class those outs as about 1.5 outs. We cannot classify the queen as a clean out because it is underneath the king. Against two opponents then the better play is probably to check.
If the players are loose calling stations then it is certainly better to check. You will simply be called too many times and because our pot equity is so low then any c-bet that gets called is going to leave us in a somewhat tricky spot.