You are one of the first to act before the flop , and with your hand you decide to make a 4BB raise. There is just one caller in late position and you both go to the flop. The Flop: A 9 3. The Turn: A 9 3 7. However, our opponent raises this bet and the action is back on us. This has turned the hand on it's head and we are left in a tricky situation.
Throughout the hand we never really considered the fact that our opponent has us beat, as it has been all about getting the most from our top pair. According the the BalugaWhale theorem, we should strongly reconsider the strength of our pair due to this turn raise, and we should be looking to fold the majority of the time in this spot.
The simple answer is no. Any turn raise is going to show a significant amount of strength, and a weak top pair or worse is not going to warrant this sort of display of strength. I'm sure that you can feel how much of an awkward situation this is when you hold top pair top kicker, but we both know that folding is going to be the best move here the majority of the time.
One of the biggest problems is that we are out of position , which means the information we have on our opponent is limited. You can try and convince yourself that the turn card was harmless and how might you like to think that your opponent is aggressively playing a draw, but at the end of it all you can't get away from the fact that you are in an uncomfortable situation where calling is likely to be a losing play over the long run.
If you decide to call on the turn, what are you going to do on the river? Your opponent is almost definitely going to be betting out as a bluff or betting with the best hand, so closing your eyes and calling the turn bet whilst hoping for the best on the river isn't going to be a great strategy.
I would say that the Baluga theorem is one of a small number of theorems that you should take note of and incorporate into your Texas Hold'em game. Andrew is a professional high stakes poker player and used to coach at the old "Deuces Cracked" training site. He was an awesome coach there.
He also used to have a blog called balugabay. For what it's worth, yes, "Baluga" is a misspelling of "Beluga". Not sure if this misspelling was actually intentional, but that's the way it stands. Some theorems are useful whilst others are not so useful. Furthermore, some theorems can become outdated over time and lose points in terms of how effective they can be at the Texas Hold'em poker tables. The theorems below have been given scores out of 10 based on reliability to help you determine which theorems are useful and which theorems are not.
Whilst many theorems can prove to really help you out in certain situations, it is important to not rely on just theorems alone, as a winning poker players uses their complete knowledge of the game to make the most profitable decisions. Basically, if you can play poker as closely to the way you would play if you could see everyone else's cards, you will win money.
This is quite possibly the most reliable out of all the popular poker theorems today. This is a nice theorem that will really help with an all too common and tricky situation on the turn in Hold'em. The Clarkmeister poker theorem helps you to pick out a prime bluffing opportunity, although it is useful to have an understanding on your opponent's style of play for this theorem.
Unfortunately this is an outdated theorem, as players are far more aggressive these days and will 3-bet dry flops with a strong hand. As you can see this is a pretty wild theorem that is obviously tongue-in-cheek. Nonetheless, it is actually possibly to find a few subtle yet interesting points to this theorem if you look hard enough. There are probably new poker theorems popping up every now and then in different forums, but very few of them stick.
The above poker theorems are the ones that you are most likely to come across and find being discussed in poker forums at the moment. Most of these were put forward in around , and there are not too many new and actually useful theorems popping up at the moment. So make the most of these ones.
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Because a theoretically sound check-raising strategy is a lot more aggressive than what most players actually do in-game. Hero is dealt two cards on the button. Hero raises to 2. Big Blind calls. Hero bets 1. When you see a hand with multiple colors, it means that the solver uses a mixed strategy with that hand. Hero bets 6. Big Blind raises to Side note: The solver is actually defending at the Minimum Defense Frequency for this spot. I have found that players check-raise with a much different and tighter range.
Note: This range is already quite tight, but even this is looser than the value-only range many players use in spots like this. Try to identify those value-only people and do yourself a favor by playing extremely tight in response to their check-raises. We can see here that all one pair hands, many of which were happily calling before, are now snap-folds. You should strongly re-evaluate the strength of one-pair hands in the face of a raise on the turn.
Many players have never intentionally bluff-raised a river. Not once. And those who look for river spots to bluff-raise do so only occasionally. Moreover, this trend, of under-bluffing when raising on the river, has been observed across all stakes, from the micros to the nosebleeds. This will make theory purists scream in agony.
After all, your opponent should not have J-T here, because he should have raised on the flop or the turn, right? If you suspect or know your opponent is capable of big bluffs like this, you should, of course, call. But these players are few and far between, even at high stakes.
In 6-max, most people moved up in stakes by folding [on the river] because most people under-bluff…at some points you need to be bluffing much much more because people learned that folding was the right way. The second spot to deviate from a balanced strategy is when an opponent raises on the turn.
Now, this is not as clear a spot as facing a raise on the river, since players have different ideas about what hands are strong enough to raise for value. The Big Blind then check-raises to 3x your bet. Here, even though your hand is definitely part of the theoretically proper defending range, you should consider folding unless you have strong reads that your opponent is attempting to play a balanced strategy.
Like the river raise, a check-raise in a spot like this is too rarely a bluff. Playing well in multiway pots is crucial for your success. However, multiway situations are difficult to model because of the number of players ranges involved, and solving them becomes exponentially more difficult. Having said that, suppose that you hold AA in a multiway pot. Once you get called in two or three or four spots preflop, you ought to no longer be thrilled with your hand.
Take a look at this heads-up vs. Consider now how bad your hand looks when you bet and face a raise — there are 3 ranges that contain all the sets, and at least one of them has most of the possible two pairs.
I too almost always lead out with trips because everyone immediately assumes you don't have it. Better bring that down to I've folded some decent hands on the river due to this line of thinking only to look later and see the missed draw bovada. Probably not the most politically correct but players of the same race or age will play extremely similar. Exploit it. If you win multiple pots against the same opponent in a short amount of time, be very careful.
You're not going to be able to push them out of a pot. Check raise the flop OOP and many people will check back the turn giving you a free river card usually for cheaper than their turn bet would have been. Obviously a generalization but, as someone who plays a lot of both, MTTers seem to fight for a lot of pots and I'm amazed how lightly people will punt off their stacks just by checking a few times.
Cash game players, on the other hand, seem to be looking for big hands to win big pots. Therefore, if you start getting played back at, you should, more often than not, assume you are up against something that can beat top pair. Aaahhh yes, the old 52o turn float. When the draw card hits the river and the dude donk shoves - he has it. He's not super wizard leveling you and turning some mid pair hand into a bluff to get you to fold your top pair or top 2 or set.
Become a Redditor and join one of thousands of communities. Zeebos' theorem: no player is good enough to fold a FH on any street regardless of bet size. Want to add to the discussion? Post a comment! Create an account. Never play pocket aces, you're just gonna lose to 5 3 suited. Play accordingly.
Lots of value from big pairs; little from a missed AK. I may have read it somewhere, but can't remember where. They tend to know just enough to be ragingly exploitable. Caveat: This doesn't really include standard c-bet situations into pots full of dead money. In cash games, no one is ever bluffing, even when they can't have it. Damn Zeebo And those who look for river spots to bluff-raise do so only occasionally.
Moreover, this trend, of under-bluffing when raising on the river, has been observed across all stakes, from the micros to the nosebleeds. This will make theory purists scream in agony. After all, your opponent should not have J-T here, because he should have raised on the flop or the turn, right?
If you suspect or know your opponent is capable of big bluffs like this, you should, of course, call. But these players are few and far between, even at high stakes. In 6-max, most people moved up in stakes by folding [on the river] because most people under-bluff…at some points you need to be bluffing much much more because people learned that folding was the right way.
The second spot to deviate from a balanced strategy is when an opponent raises on the turn. Now, this is not as clear a spot as facing a raise on the river, since players have different ideas about what hands are strong enough to raise for value. The Big Blind then check-raises to 3x your bet.
Here, even though your hand is definitely part of the theoretically proper defending range, you should consider folding unless you have strong reads that your opponent is attempting to play a balanced strategy. Like the river raise, a check-raise in a spot like this is too rarely a bluff. Playing well in multiway pots is crucial for your success. However, multiway situations are difficult to model because of the number of players ranges involved, and solving them becomes exponentially more difficult.
Having said that, suppose that you hold AA in a multiway pot. Once you get called in two or three or four spots preflop, you ought to no longer be thrilled with your hand. Take a look at this heads-up vs. Consider now how bad your hand looks when you bet and face a raise — there are 3 ranges that contain all the sets, and at least one of them has most of the possible two pairs. Your opponents are not likely to attack your bet with gut shots, open-enders, or weaker value hands.
You are almost certainly being raised by a made hand, and are in no position to bluff-catch.
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