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Old 01-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
NJD77
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4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Well I managed to miss my 4k milestone by a good few posts, but it's been a while since I wrote any Strat on STTF, so thought I'd throw this one out there, partly because I think it will help me focus my mind clearly by having to write it down in a post. There's nothing revolutionary here at all, but it may serve as an aide memoire for more experienced players and a pointer for beginners.

Check/Fold, Check/Call, Bet/Fold........But which do I opt for....and why?

This post will be about the common scenario, where we are out of position, post flop, deep stacked, and are faced with a decision. We typically have 6 options:

1. Check/Fold
2. Check/Call
3. Bet/Fold
4. Bet/Call
5. Bet/3bet
6. Check/Raise

I am going to leave 3-6 for the time being, since these are used far less commonly than 1-3, and are usually quite obvious when we need to employ them.


Check-Fold

This is a simple one!

Ideal Conditions:
  • Hero has either a very weak hand or no made hand or draw (i.e low equity)
  • Hero has little showdown value
  • Hero rarely improves on future streets
  • Villain is Passive and will not bluff very often
  • Board is wet and connects very well with Villains Range

Villains Range will look like this:



Example Hand:

Hero: 57
Villain Range: Broadways, 22+, A-x.

Flop: KQ7

Hero Action: Check/folds bottom pair no kicker.




Check-Call

This is probably the most difficult one, since it is a passive option, which is usually a tricky option to play when OOP, and often leaves us with little information on later streets.

Ideal Conditions:
  • Hero has a marginal hand which may be best but isn't super strong
  • Hero has strong showdown value
  • Hero often improves on later streets
  • Future streets are unlikely to significantly devalue Hero's hand (i.e if we have the best hand now, we will often have the best hand on the river)
  • Villain is Aggressive and has many bluffs in his range (he may c/bet 100% on dry boards etc.)
  • Villain doesn't have many worse made hands in his range that Hero can get value from.
  • Board is dry and doesn't connect with Villain's Range

Villains Range will look like this:



Example Hand:

Hero: K9
Villain Range: Suited Connectors, Pocket Pairs

Flop: K77

Hero Action: Check/Calls top pair marginal kicker.




Bet-Fold

This one is used less often by inexperienced players, but is vital to being successful in squeezing value out of our opponents.

Ideal Conditions:
  • Hero likely has the best hand
  • Hero's hand is likely to be devalued on future streets
  • Villain has many worse made hands in his range
  • Villain very rarely bluffs without very strong made hands
  • Villain has many draws in his range
  • Board is wet

Villains Range will look like this:



Example Hand:

Hero: KJ
Villain Range: A-x, K-x, Q-x, Suited Connectors, Pocket Pairs

Flop: K89

Hero Action: Bet-fold TPGK on wet board.


Conclusion:

Keep in mind the above hands are just examples and the conditions noted are ideal conditions.

We are rarely presented with ideal conditions, and the skill is to then select from the possible lines based on experience and judgment.

There are countless different flop textures, and countless different villain ranges and tendencies. It is impossible to solve this conundrum in a short post. However I hope this gives a basic framework for the thought processes that we must go through when deciding on a given line.

Also keep in mind that I've written this post pretty quickly, if there's things wrong with it, then by all means correct them!!

........discuss!

Last edited by NJD77; 01-14-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

great post across the board... well said and put. thanks.

In what spots would you bet/fold or check/call as opposed to check/raise? it appears to be a convergence of the two bet/fold and check/call situations. Is it mostly when our hand is strong, won't improve and villain cbets or bluffs the flop way too much? Whereas the bet/fold is better against straightforward opponents who are fit or fold on the flop?

If I dare ask, assuming the deck is not crushed, do you like to lead out with your really strong hands (sets, etc)? and if so when? granted that might make a 5K post in itself.

congrats on the 4K. appreciate the thoughts
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
Hckytwn Hammer
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Great post, a really good refresher for post flop play.

TY
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Well put together and a good read. Wishing you plenty of run good.
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

This is a subject I wondered if had ever been addressed in here so thanks for starting it. I struggle with what the hell to do in alot of spots where we've barrelled to the turn and then a sick river card messes everything up. I tend to go for a basic method of bet-folding small when virtually every draw has been hit so as to get value from worse two pairs etc, cause when they shove then most of the time they have the flush or straight. And check calling when most draws are missed to let them bluff, and that works like a charm more than one might expect. Other than that, getting anymore technical in game is nigh on impossible so it's just best to keep it very simple, for me at least.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

veni vidi veni
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Thanks! Very good post! Love it.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:29 AM   #8
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Great as always Neil.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:26 AM   #9
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by vookenmeister View Post
great post across the board... well said and put. thanks.

In what spots would you bet/fold or check/call as opposed to check/raise? it appears to be a convergence of the two bet/fold and check/call situations. Is it mostly when our hand is strong, won't improve and villain cbets or bluffs the flop way too much? Whereas the bet/fold is better against straightforward opponents who are fit or fold on the flop?
Check-raising is for a few different spots (and it's really important we balance these 2 frequencies, because if we always have the nuts when we check-raise we become very easy to play against):
  • where Villain's range hits the board hard, but we have the invincible nuts or a very strong draw to the nuts (e.g. open ended straight draw, pair + flush draw).
  • Hero has Air. Villain's range completely misses the board, and Villain bluff bet/folds too much. This is useful where villains c/b 100%, fold to check-raises 90%, and the board comes something that we can represent as hitting our range.

Example:

Hero: TJ
Flop: 8QK
Villains Range: Full of Broadway combos.

or

Hero: J3
Flop: 567
Villain Range: Generally broadways, c/bets 100%, folds to c/r 90%
Hero can represent a wide range of straights, straight draws, sets, overpairs etc.

Quote:
If I dare ask, assuming the deck is not crushed, do you like to lead out with your really strong hands (sets, etc)? and if so when? granted that might make a 5K post in itself.
There are definitely spots where I will lead out with sets, the ideal conditions for this will be:
  • The board is very wet
  • The board hits villains range very well
  • The villain is passive and calls too much, i.e he won't bet his TPGK if checked to, but he will definitely call if bet to.
  • The villain over-values his TPTK type hands, and is a poor hand reader.
  • The villain chases draws too much, but doesn't semi-bluff them. i.e has loose VPIP/PFR stats but low AF.
    Example:

    Hero: 99
    Flop: AK9
    Villains range: Full of A-x, K-x.

    Generally in these spots we'll be taking a bet/3bet line.

Last edited by NJD77; 01-15-2011 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #10
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

u neil

way too ****ing long, wont read
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #11
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

good post!
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #12
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownklauen View Post
u neil

way too ****ing long, wont read
you too!

I wouldn't want to tilt you any more than you already do, so just skip it!!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJD77 View Post
Check-Call

This is probably the most difficult one, since it is a passive option, which is usually a tricky option to play when OOP, and often leaves us with little information on later streets.

Ideal Conditions:
  • Hero has a marginal hand which may be best but isn't super strong
  • Hero has strong showdown value
  • Hero often improves on later streets
  • Future streets are unlikely to significantly devalue Hero's hand (i.e if we have the best hand now, we will often have the best hand on the river)
  • Villain is Aggressive and has many bluffs in his range (he may c/bet 100% on dry boards etc.)
  • Villain doesn't have many worse made hands in his range that Hero can get value from.
  • Board is dry and doesn't connect with Villain's Range

Villains Range will look like this:

You raised AK from Hijack during 20 40, to 120, and got called by the button, a reg. Starting stacks were 1500 (37,5bbs).
Flop comes T53r. You expect him to take a stab if you show weakness.

It fits this description (checklist) perfectly. It doesn't fit the bet-fold criteria nearly as well.

So do you choose to checkcall? I have some ideas, but I'm interested in your thoughts.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
Ronny Mahoni
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

^ the "average" reg range will have you beat a lot on a board like this, and he is more likely to check back hands you are ahead of compared to hands that are ahead of you.

Good post Neil, hope there is some discussion comming up in here.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #15
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Its always nice to read good post-flop strategy post.
Hope it will continue some day...

Thanks Neil!!
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:05 AM   #16
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronny Mahoni View Post
^ the "average" reg range will have you beat a lot on a board like this
Both ranges are, as is often the case in SnGs, quite narrow.

Let's go with this - HJ is raising 88-AA, AJ+.
A reg on the button is flatting with 88-JJ, AQ, AK.

With those ranges, we're flipping on that board (we're actually in the slight lead). Removing 88, or removing AK from his calling ranges change it very, very slightly.


The situation seems to actually fit precisely the ideal conditions for the check-call Neil listed; that's why I'm interested in further thoughts.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:35 AM   #17
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

With those ranges, and on that board, Pokerstove gives us:

Board: Tc 5d 3s
Dead:

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 50.758% 46.34% 04.42% 1739475 166023.00 { 88+, AJs+, AJo+ }
Hand 1: 49.242% 44.82% 04.42% 1682559 166023.00 { JJ-88, AQs+, AQo+ }

So I would disagree that the ideal conditions are fully met. Condition 1 says we may be best.

But against villains range here we are very rarely best, and are very often just 50/50 against his range. For the ideal conditions to be met we would want more like 60% equity against villains range to check-call. I'd agree though that a lot of the conditions are met.

It's just one of those crappy spots when we are OOP versus a nitty reg, and we should generally just Check-Fold a flop like this that completely misses our range. We get very little value from anything worse, we very rarely fold out better, and we valuetown ourselves against the nutty parts of his range, especially if he flats and we hit a A/K turn. The over-riding factor here is position, and playing this hand out of position is just too difficult on this flop against a nitty reg. If villain is a good hand reader, it makes our life even tougher, because he should know this flop totally misses our range, and will float the flop a ton of the time and put us in tough positions OTT.

It's not to say that c/bet-folding is terrible, but I think check-folding is slightly better. If his Fold-To-Cbet% is insanely high, then that could tip this towards a good spot to c/bet-fold....conversely if his fold-to-cbet% is low, this is definitely a check-fold.

On this board there's really a very very narrow part of my range that I check-call with.

Good example though, and definitely worth discussing.

Last edited by NJD77; 01-15-2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:49 AM   #18
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

ty and grats on 4k, this will correct some of my post spewaments
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:04 AM   #19
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

This is why AK during the low blinds vs solid regs sucks when we don't hit and against loose villans it also sucks.

Die AK during the low blinds........I HATE YOU
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:22 AM   #20
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

good post
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:23 AM   #21
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

So people are recommending to check/fold with AK on this dry flop vs a good reg when at best we are 50/50? Won't continuation betting still be profitable here and make us less exploitive?
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:27 AM   #22
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Villano2009 View Post
So people are recommending to check/fold with AK on this dry flop vs a good reg when at best we are 50/50? Won't continuation betting still be profitable here and make us less exploitive?
I think it's really close between check/fold and bet/fold. It depends on how fit/fold the reg is, and whether his fold-to-cbet% is high or low. I definitely think we can c/bet-fold against some regs, but against good regs who can hand-read well, they will flat almost their entire range on this flop, and just put us in crap spots on the turn.

Generally c/betting when we are 50/50 should be done in position when checked to, not out of position against a tight reg.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:49 AM   #23
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJD77 View Post
I think it's really close between check/fold and bet/fold. It depends on how fit/fold the reg is, and whether his fold-to-cbet% is high or low. I definitely think we can c/bet-fold against some regs, but against good regs who can hand-read well, they will flat almost their entire range on this flop, and just put us in crap spots on the turn.

Generally c/betting when we are 50/50 should be done in position when checked to, not out of position against a tight reg.
Makes sense. In game I find myself check/folding here often as most villans will know I generally continuation bet and when I don't they find this as weakeness and in position against me bet it. They generally will know if I check/raise I'm strong and they'll fold and if I flat meh they just bet on 4th when I check if I miss and they bet again.

It just feels really transparent to me that I have AK here in these spots against good regs who can hand read and seems I can be easily exploited in these spots. Sigh.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #24
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJD77 View Post
With those ranges, and on that board, Pokerstove gives us:

Board: Tc 5d 3s
Dead:

equity win tie pots won pots tied
Hand 0: 50.758% 46.34% 04.42% 1739475 166023.00 { 88+, AJs+, AJo+ }
Hand 1: 49.242% 44.82% 04.42% 1682559 166023.00 { JJ-88, AQs+, AQo+ }

So I would disagree that the ideal conditions are fully met. Condition 1 says we may be best.

But against villains range here we are very rarely best, and are very often just 50/50 against his range. For the ideal conditions to be met we would want more like 60% equity against villains range to check-call. I'd agree though that a lot of the conditions are met.

It's just one of those crappy spots when we are OOP versus a nitty reg, and we should generally just Check-Fold a flop like this that completely misses our range. We get very little value from anything worse, we very rarely fold out better, and we valuetown ourselves against the nutty parts of his range, especially if he flats and we hit a A/K turn. The over-riding factor here is position, and playing this hand out of position is just too difficult on this flop against a nitty reg. If villain is a good hand reader, it makes our life even tougher, because he should know this flop totally misses our range, and will float the flop a ton of the time and put us in tough positions OTT.
Yeah... I liked the post, so that's why I was figuring out what else can be said (taken into consideration) aside from what you've included.

Like you said, even though the ranges are 50 - 50 (AK alone actually has 47% equity against villain's range!), check-calling really doesn't lead us anywhere. So once we take the future streets into consideration, check-calling isn't that appealing. The position simply is too important in this spot. It influences the entire gameflow too much.

Even if we check-call, we'll miss the turn something like 87% of the time, and there doesn't seem to be much we can do there. We can check again, and hope he'll check it down... But by then it is obvious to the villain we're a huge dog.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:00 PM   #25
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Re: 4k Milestone Post: C/F, C/C, B/F ???

as Neil says, check/fold AK on the dry J high flop makes sense to me. We might be 50/50 before the flop comes but once the flop hits in my opinion we are now less than 50/50 because we missed the flop so the 88-JJ hands are ahead of us and will prob float one card if we bet if they know our range.

And as said by Neil they could abuse us on the turn if we bet and check turn. They will also prob abuse us if we check/call flop and then check turn. So in this case the safe play is to check/fold and just give up our 3X original bet and move on. We balance this slightly by also checking our monster hands that hit the flop hard like JJ. Fortunately the situations are usually rare that we raise UTG and get smooth called by a reg. Usually the reg's range will be a fold and sometimes it will be a 3bet (that we prob will fold to in reply).
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