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Making the right value bets is the difference between making a little bit of money at poker, and making a lot of money at poker.
A “value bet” or “value betting” happens when a player makes a bet with the intention of getting his or her opponent to call with a worse hand. When making a bet in no-limit hold’em, you should know what you want the bet to accomplish, and so a “value bet” is one made with that goal of getting value in the form of an opponent’s call.
A value bet is exactly what the name implies: a bet designed to increase the value of a pot
In general, the purpose of a bet is either to bluff your opponent or to value bet your opponent. In the case of value betting, you must put your opponent on a range of hands and compare that range to your own hand strength. If your opponent’s range of hands includes most that are worse than yours, you can pretty safely bet for value.
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To wield this type of bet effectively, you need to consider the following information about your opponent:
* The strength of their hand. Obviously, the stronger a hand they have, the greater the chance they will feel that their hand is good; thus, they’ll be willing to call for more money.
* Their view of your hand. If the other player thinks you have the nuts, they aren’t going to be willing to put almost any money into the pot.
* Their ability to fold. Some players are just not willing to fold a big hand.
A player with this complex will call a very large value bet with a big pocket pair, even when it should be obvious that you have him beat.
On the other end of the scale, when your opponent is playing scared, he will have to be persuaded to put any money into the pot at all.
* Their call amount threshold. Most poker players have a natural limit to how many chips they will call in one bet. Some players put an absolute number to that limit, others a percentage of their stack.
As a general rule assume that the threshold is half the player’s stack.
How Do I Use this information?
Value betting seems simple. If you have a pretty good idea of the above factors, you’ll know to value bet large, or value bet small.
That much is easy; the difficult part is getting amounts as close to perfect as you can.
If your value betting amount is low, that will equate to hundreds or thousands of dollars in a month, depending how often you play at what limits. But if you’re over, that will result in a significant loss every session.
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