Beating Small Stakes Cash Games - Part 2

Post flop

Like pre flop, our post flop strategy is going to be all about value. The general rule readless is to very rarely c-bet without a good hand. Never c-bet as a total bluff. It's important to identify good flops to c-bet, by considering our pot equity and our fold equity. Scary words, which I probably shouldn't even be using myself at the mo. lol. But I'll try and explain in words that I will understand.

If we're c-betting we need to be pretty confident that there are turn cards that will make us the best hand. The turn cards that we could potentially hit will then turn our hand into a value hand, rather than a semi bluff. To work out if our hand has good equity (or a good chance of going ahead of our opponents range) on the turn, we need to look at flop texture.

For example if we have pocket 3s on a T Q A flop with 2 hearts. This is a horrible board for our hand. Our opponent is likely to have high cards, so we have little fold equity against his range, as people don't fold pairs. We also only have 2 good turn cards that will potentially turn our hand into a value hand. So our equity in the hand is also terrible. Therefore it's not a good board to c-bet.

An alternative situation is a board of 2 5 9 rainbow. We hold ace king, and it's checked to us in position. This is one of the rare occasions we can c-bet. The board is really dry, and it is likely that our opponent will miss this flop quite a lot. Our c-bet will make him fold most of the time. If he calls, we have 6 cards to hit on the turn and river to improve our hand, and turn it into a value situation. Combine the fold equity we have in the hand, with the likelihood of our hand improving on turn or river, and this makes it a great spot to make a continuation bet.

Beating Small Stakes Cash - Diagram 4

Above hand shows a good time to c-bet. We're out of position, so we should be extra careful when c-betting, but as this is a 3bet pot against another big stack, it's not a bad time to c-bet. The board is Jack high, with 2 low cards and no flush draw. It's very unlikely that my opponent has hit this flop. I have 2 overcards to the board, which can convert my hand into a value hand on the turn or river. He makes the call, and I hit one of the cards to turn my hand into a value hand.

As we're so deep, I decide to take the pot control line which is very important at NL4 (see later). I check because we're deep stacked, I don't really want to get stacks in here. His turn check behind gives me the green light to go ahead and value bet the river.

The point about the hand is I wasn't "c-betting dead". He's going to fold the flop a lot of the time, and some of the times that he calls, I will go ahead of his hand range and be able to bet for value.

Betting for value.

This really is the bread and butter of NL4. Our value range post flop. Because of our solid hand selection pre flop, we're not going to get into many spots where we are unsure of what to do. Bet sizing readless should always at least be 3/4 of the pot.

Again, we're never worried about "scaring people off". That will inevitably happen, people will fold when we flop the nuts, but we need to maximise value the times that they have hands to continue.

Beating Small Stakes Cash - Diagram 5

In the above hand we've raised a lot following 1 limper with a very strong value hand. We've hit the flop now all we want to do is get the money in. I don't want to go too much into hand reading, but the fact he limped in pre flop and called a raise, before leading into me on the flop, tells me he has something. If he has something, he doesn't fold, right? So we want to get his money in the middle as soon as possible. A big raise is the way to do that, let’s get it in and get value from his aces, his flush draws, his pocket pairs, anything that he's stupid enough to call with really.

The end of the hand is below, as you can see he put most of his money in miles behind, and got there on the river this time, but we played the hand well. So what, he's just keeping it warm.

Beating Small Stakes Cash - Diagram 6

I could post umpteen examples of value towning post flop, but once you've seen 1, you've seen them all. The key is to bet strong with a strong hand.

Previous: Beating Small Stakes Cash Games - Part 1

Next: Beating Small Stakes Cash Games - Part 3

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