Pot Controlling

Pot controlling is simply the act of slowing down the action by either check/calling or checking behind instead of betting. These spots will happen when you have a top pair or small overpair type hand. These are the only situations on the turn where you should have any kind of real decision to make. And the decision is often very player dependant.

Against SLPs and fish I will certainly be betting again here a lot of the time. This is because we know that they will call with a wide range on the flop. And so they can be in there with all sorts of weak holdings that we are still ahead of on the turn.

This isn’t the case with regs however. And in fact against some regs you should just check and fold if they can make a bet. Their AF will play a large determining factor in this decision. But I want to wait until the river section to discuss the specifics of that stat.

The main reason why you should often pot control in these spots against regs is that they won’t call with worse hands anywhere near as much of the time as SLPs and fish will. Also, you force all of their air hands to fold as well. Therefore you only get action from better hands. Let’s go through a couple examples of this.

Example:

You have,

And by the turn the board looks like this,

In this spot I will barrel most of the time against SLPs and fish regardless of my position. And since I am betting for value, I will be betting fairly big, around 75% of the pot.

Conversely in this spot I will often pot control against nits and TAG’s for the reasons that I just discussed. It’s important to note that an added benefit of pot controlling on the turn is that it will create some deception about the strength of your hand. This will often allow you to get that bet out of them on the river anyways.

Example:

You have,

And by the turn the board looks like this,

Similar to the hand above, I will usually be betting again here for value against SLPs and fish and pot controlling against regs.

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