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Equity protection on dry flop?

JLBJJLBJ Posts: 172Subscriber
edited October 2018 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Wasn’t a big pot, but wanted some guidance on the standard play in this spot:

1-3, $300 effective. One limp, I raise 77 in CO to 15, button, BB and limper call.

T 4 :s: 4

Checks to me. What do you do?

My default would be to not bet an underpair in a four-handed pot. But this seems like the rare flop where I should still have the best hand. However, I won’t accomplish the basic goals: no worse hands will call, and no better hands will fold (maybe 88 or 99, but that’s not what I’m trying to do here).

Most turn cards that come off will hurt me. Should I bet here to protect my equity, or is it still just too likely that someone has Tx and I should just give up?
Thanked by 1Steveo76


  • Steveo76Steveo76 Posts: 161Subscriber
    That's a familiar board JLBJ. Thanks for solid feedback from you previously. Here's my thoughts on this hand: What is your standard open sizing at 1/3? And is $15 enough as a raise over 1 limper? Perhaps a larger raise would not have seen you going to the flop 4 ways?

    As played, I think a flop bet is in order here. That's about as good a flop as you can hope for. Plenty of worse cards with some equity might call; QJd for example. If more than one villain calls then you can shut down. With only one caller, particularly if it's not the button, you can perhaps barell certain turn cards.

    Before any action on the flop there is nothing to suggest anyone has a 10 and that is why I think a bet is in order. Then re-assess on the turn. I hope this helps!
  • SonnySonny Posts: 390Subscriber
    edited November 2018
    I really feel that equity protection is something that @Bart is going to address when he makes updated curriculum Podcasts. At the time when "Bet to get worse to call and better to fold" was the standard way of instructing newer players, I think that it was worded this way to teach people not to "bet to find out where they are at."
    I also think that in spots like this betting to get worse to call and better to fold still can apply. I think that AK, AQ, AJ, type hands maybe with a backdoor flush draw or 66 and 55 might peel a card. I do think having 99 in this spot would be a lot better, because with 77 we still have to worry about someone calling with 8's or 9's. At $1/3 hardly anyone is 3 betting 8's or 9's and most players dont even open them. But sometimes I think worse will call here...
    Overall though I think betting this flop is a ok. There probably aren't a ton of 4's in our opponents range but 10's are possible. I would prefer to bet a 9 high board here though, lots of players will call with Broadway cards suited or unsiuted pre flop, so I think it's pretty hard to know if you are good here or not. If you think you have the best hand bet it. Only if you think you do have the best hand should you bet it for protection. Otherwise you are kinda "betting to find out where you are at". You do have the pre flop lead though and this bet could also be considered a semi bluff if you think a weak 10 might fold.
    Checking basically lets everything we are currently beating get there. Overcards can pair, smaller pairs can boat up... if you get called though, I'd try to get to showdown without putting and more money in the pot unless we spike a 7. Even with multiple bets its pretty hard to get someone to fold top pair.
    Thanked by 1Steveo76
  • SuperflySuperfly Posts: 601Subscriber
    If you check, in addition to giving three other players a free card, you’re opening yourself up to being bluffed and having to play a guessing game in defense. I would cbet small 30% pot on the flop for value, protection, information, and to maintain the initiative. You may have the best hand and even if someone has a T, you may be able to bluff them off it with continued aggression, esp if a scary overcard hits the turn or river.

    Somewhere in his Fast Track series, Ki states that one of his favorite spots is putting callers to tough decisions on dry boards with continued aggression across multiple streets as the PFR. The multiway nature of this hand makes that a little more risky. But I still think it’s better to keep the initiative on the flop and assess on later streets.
  • MrSpecialMrSpecial Posts: 330Subscriber
    @Sonny: really good post!

    Hope that @Bart can address situations like this soon. I find these spots very interesting as they come up regularly and 77 is really borderline.
  • ChaseSpellChaseSpell Posts: 183Subscriber
    edited November 2018
    With this configuration, you often have the "best" hand otf. With the non-robust equity of our sevens, cbetting (even with small sizing) doesn't do a great job of making the pot bigger in case you win (though a smaller bet can be called by 55, 66, two-over-BDFD, etc). But betting with the likely "best" hand against 3 opponents here does a good job of denying your opponents an opportunity to realize their equity. Our hand is quite vulnerable, against 3 opponents, to potential overcards coming ott, and when facing a cbet these hands will forfeit their equity or be forced to put more money in the pot as an underdog. A single opponent with two-overs has 25-30% equity against your hand otf.

    In this spot with the given configuration, I'm probably going to cbet (unless I have a very poor image or some other unusual circumstance). Against 4 or more villains I probably wouldn't bet, because the chance our sevens are currently best becomes too low, and the less confident we are that we have the "best" hand the less likely we should be to bet at all.

    Because of how static the flop is, even with the strongest hands in our range on this flop we should cbet on the smaller side (something like 30-50% pot). So, I would probably bet 20-30 here.
  • Bart HansonBart Hanson Posts: 6,128Administrator, LeadPro
    I would make a small protection bet here. Maybe something like 20.. and check it down. You have to understand though, if overcards run out, you can turn your hand into a bluff but if you DONT your opponent is going to be extremely polarized to a 4. I've talked about this many times. Like if the board is T44QK and you make a small bet on flop and check back the turn, if you face a bet in reality at the lower levels you are looking at a 4 or a bluff.
  • Bart HansonBart Hanson Posts: 6,128Administrator, LeadPro
    Sonny wrote: »
    At the time when "Bet to get worse to call and better to fold" was the standard way of instructing newer players, I think that it was worded this way to teach people not to "bet to find out where they are at."
    I also think that in spots like this betting to get worse to call and better to fold still can apply.

    As NL evolves we certainly can get into flop spots where hands with backdoor equity might call that we beat right now and better hands fold. Like for example if we bet 22 on T44 vs 3 players and next to act folds with 33 but QJ with a backdoor calls. Where people go wrong misapplying this concept is on the river when the equities are entirely revealed.
    Thanked by 1Sonny
  • JLBJJLBJ Posts: 172Subscriber
    Thanks for the replies.

    I did c-bet half-pot, and it sounds like I could have gone slightly smaller, but that you mostly agree a c-bet was in order.

    The button, a typical middle-aged man, called, and I check-folded the turn on a blank, think it was a 5.

    Just a typical spot I wanted to check on, since I usually try not to bet worse than top pair or a strong draw against three opponents. But I was so likely to have the best hand here that I bet.
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