The ultimate goal of any poker game is to win and to make as much money as possible. In low limit games value betting is much more profitable than bluffing because there is a much lower success rate at bluffing in lower limit games because there are so many less experienced players that seem to call all of the time.
A low limit game of poker means simply that the limits on how much a person can bet are lower than in higher limit games. Normally table limits are categorized as Micro, Low, Middle, High, and Nose bleed. As you move up in to middle limits you will find that the quality of your opponents has improved. And you will see an overall increased level of play as you move further up in limits.
Value Betting Fundamentals
If you have a great hand and want to exploit that for as long as possible, then you don’t want to scare everyone into folding by betting too much early on. You want your opponents to feel comfortable with their hands so that they continue to call. If you feel that your hand is susceptible to being out drawn then you may want to bet large enough to discourage your opponents from calling and drawing but if you feel that you have the best hand and do not see a draw on the board that scares you then you may want to value bet. Value betting is the opposite of a bluff. In a bluff, you want to intimidate everyone into folding by big betting, but with value betting you want your opponents to stay in the pot and call you.
Value Betting Pre Flop and Post Flop
In low stakes poker games, people are a little freer with their money especially in the pre flop and post flop part of the hand. Many inexperienced players will draw to a very wide range of hands but will still have the sense to fold to a bet if they miss the flop entirely. You would want to value bet in these situations with a strong hand and make your opponents have to pay for their opportunity to draw out on you.
Value Betting the Turn
The turn is the integral part of the value betting strategy. You want to maximize your profit as much as possible, but you don’t want to act too strongly and end up with just a small pot. The best strategy here is to make a modest bet to encourage your opponents to call. You don’t want to max it out because it will intimidate the other players and may lead to everyone folding.
Value Betting the River
Before you try to value bet on the river you have to be pretty comfortable with the fact that you have the best hand. It does not make sense to try and encourage a call from an opponent with a hand that will beat you at show down. If you feel that you have the best hand then a value bet is the way to go. If you have any doubts about how your hand would fare in a show down then you may want to take a different approach and either try to bet big enough to make your opponent fold or to just check and see if your hand holds up.
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