Making Post-Flop Decisions Based On Equity

When you are contemplating a post-flop course of action, you base your decisions on what your equity is versus your opponent’s range. If you decide to bet and your equity is stronger than your opponent’s, then you are betting for value. If your range is weaker, then you are betting as a bluff. If you are betting for value and get raised, you must re-evaluate the situation and adjust your opponent’s range. This, of course, also changes your equity versus his range.

Arriving at such decisions in a skilled manner is a lot easier when you have a firm grasp of post-flop equities and how to adjust them according to how you feel the ranges have evolved based on the action. Tosimplifythings,hereisanexamplewhichillustrateswhatIamtalkingabout.

Example #4.1: Adjusting Equities On The Flop

We pick up Q♣9♣ in the cutoff and min-raise to 2 big blinds. After two folds, we are flatted by the 40/10 big blind. The board is Q♥4♣8♠ rainbow, and he checks to us. Our opponent has a very wide calling range and has multiple hands in his range that we beat that might call at least one street. We determine that we can get value from betting, so we fire a half pot value bet.

Here is my Pokerstove calculation of the above situation:

But instead of calling, let’s say our opponent raises us. We must determine whether we can shove or call for value against his raising range. Let’s look at this scenario in Pokerstove.

We decide that we are not beating any hands that would raise the flop for value. Unless we have a read that our opponent is capable of bluffing a large percentage of the time, we need to fold here.

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Now let’s take the same hand, but this time we have AQ instead:

Now we are beating several hand combinations that might raise for value. Even though we sometimes will be crushed in this spot, it is still a profitable situation, so we can raise all-in for value.

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When you have inferior equity, it is often worthwhile to contemplate a bet or raise as a bluff. If your opponent folds often enough, the play can be profitable due to the dead money won when he gives up. This important concept is called Fold Equity.

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