Owner and Lead Pro
Professional Cash game trainer Bart Hanson has been producing strategy content for over fifteen years. He first started on Live at the Bike! back in 2005, then moved on to host "Cash Plays" on Poker Road, then "Deuce Plays" on Deuces Cracked and then to CrushLivePoker in 2012.
In his career as a professional poker player, Bart Hanson has:
-6 WSOP Final Tables
-Over 15 years of experience at the table
-Over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings
-Multiple appearances on ESPN and Poker Night in America
-4th place finish in 2019 WSOP Monster Stack
Often times I will make really big calls with draws. In fact, I get a lot of weird looks after making a pot sized call on the turn and snap folding the river. People constantly underestimate the value of their draws especially when there is a good chance our opponent has a big hand.
We actually want the players we are calling against to have the nuts—there is much more of a chance that we will get paid off. Many players at the lower levels do not realize that when a draw comes in their hand becomes a bluff catcher--no matter how strong their holding was on a previous street. You can check out the Deuce Plays episode “Bluff Catcher” for a further explanation of this concept and I will be expanding upon a bluff catching tweet in a later article.
When evaluating whether or not to call with a draw we must calculate our implied odds—the money that we will make by a future bet on a later street. I use a basic formula to determine if I will call with a draw. I call it the “Forty Five Unseen Card Rule”. It is not exact but it is more precise than some other well known techniques. Simply put, I divide forty five by my number of outs. Say we have a flush draw on the turn (nine outs). We divide 45/9 giving us one chance in five. This means we must make 4 to 1 on our opponents’ turn bet size. Let’s look at the below example.
We have 7 ♣ 8 ♣ and are out of position on the turn. The board reads A ♣ K ♣ 2 ♥ 3 ♠. Our opponent bets $150 into a $200 pot and he has $800 left in his stack. We have nine outs and need to make 4 to 1 to call. We multiple $150 by four and get $600. On the turn we call $150 to win $350 immediately so if we hit we need to bet $250 ($600-$350) on the river to make our turn call profitable.
Let’s look at a bigger draw—say we have 6 ♥ 7 ♥ on a Q ♥ T ♥ 4 ♠ 3 ♣ board. We now have twelve outs and divide 45/12 giving us a 1-in-3.75 chance of hitting or 2.75 to 1. If our opponent bets $200 into a $200 pot we must make $550 total (2.75 x $200) so when we hit bet at least $150 ($550-$400) on the river to make your turn call +EV.
This process may look a little daunting at first but if you practice and can do simple addition and division it is a fairly fast and accurate way to precisely evaluate how much you have to bet on a future street to make the previous street’s call profitable. There is a detailed explanation of this math in Deuce Plays episode “Draws”. I also go into the concept of reverse implied odds (the chances of hitting your draw and NOT be good) and how the math effects those scenarios.
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