Postflop: Time to Play Poker – Monotone Boards

Monotone boards have an interesting effect on people—they slow down the action a lot. Players don’t often shove their stacks in with AcAd on T87 monotone spades, compared to AcAd on T87 with two spades. On monotone boards, there are fewer draws that your opponent can have when he shoves his stack in. Either he has the nut-flush draw or a strong made hand.

It is almost never correct to get it in here. Your best options are to either call the raise and fold to a turn bet if he continues aggression, or just fold now because you’re really only beating a bluff.

Keep in mind that he will rarely have a hand like T8o or ATo because most people don’t call pre-flop raises OOP with off-suit hands. This takes away the likelihood of him having a lone A, K, Q or J of spades in his range and decreases his semi-bluffing range. Assuming he does have one of those cards, Villain will likely check-call the flop (except with the nut- flush draw). So his value range includes a slow-played JJ+ with a spade, plus TT, 88 and sometimes 33. You’re way behind his value range, and barely ahead of his semi-bluffing range—not a great spot to shove your entire stack in.

Villain’s Perception of Your Range

Your betting frequency depends on a few things (equity, board texture and image). You generally should bluff more. and value-bet less if Villain’s perception of your range is strong, and bluff less and value-bet more if it’s weak. Knowing what he thinks of your range allows you to determine the best course of action at any time.

Villain’s perception of your range includes a lot of hands with an ace in them, and he’s right. You will also show up with sets, two pair, TT-KK and 9x. Although unlikely, betting might fold out TT-QQ. Betting also charges his draws, protects your hand and makes the hand easier to play.

Let’s look at another example.

Your perceived range doesn’t hit this flop as hard. Villain will likely put you on high cards more often than medium suited connectors, and may decide to call you down lighter, float or even bluff-raise you. In this scenario, it’s best to check behind against an aggressive player who can check-raise this flop with a wide range.

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