Dara O’Kearney shares with us a simple question you should ask yourself in a hand that could get you out of trouble a lot of the time.

Dara O Kearney
Dara O’Kearney 

When deciding whether to bet post-flop or not, the first question to ask yourself is:

Who has more strong hands?

The player with range advantage bets more, while the other player checks and calls more.

The next question to ask yourself is:

Who has more super strong hands?

The player with the nutted advantage can use bigger sizings and bluff more

How strong are most of our strong hands? For example on draw heavy two high card boards like K Q 8 we often have a lot of weak one pair hands that can’t get three streets so we do a lot of checking on the flop.

When we are out of position another important question to ask yourself is how likely is opponent to bet if you check? If they are very likely to bet we can check all our strong hands but if it’s unlikely we need to bet ourselves.

Example

Dara O Kearney
Play your range not your hand

We defend Big Blind vs Button open.

Flop K 9 3

This flop is bad for our range so we have no leads. We check 100%.

On the other hand, the flop is great for Button’s range so he can bet everything. He can use small size and big. If he bets 1.2x pot we have no raises. We call all Kx, nearly all 9x and most 3x. These are all better calls than TT because they have more outs when behind. We call all gutshots for the same reason.

Turn is 9

This is a great card for us so we can now bet a lot of our hands including all our pairs and gutters. When we hit a good card like this we bet for two reasons. We have a lot of value hands but a good opponent will recognize this and check behind a lot. Also we have lots of good semi bluffs like gutters and flush draws and we can bet all these board is so good for us opponent can’t really raise so we get to realise equity no matter what.

It is hard to think in terms of your range rather than your hand but it is a very important skill if you are going to be playing against tough thinking players. 

If you want more insight like this, Dara has a regular newsletter where he gives free tips like this all the time. 

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