So here’s a common spot that happened in a hand while a student of mine was observing and sweating me. We were playing 6-max against a fish that was 56/6 and had limp/called into the pot (see hand below). I asked him what I should be doing on the turn before I acted, and he said, “probably check at least 80% of the time. Bet 20%.” And I of course responded, “Fuck no! Bet 100% of the time.” Well, maybe I didn’t say Fuck, I never cuss of course. lol But I did want to emphasize how important it is to NEVER balance your range here versus a fish, and how far ahead of you are in equity versus his range on the turn.

PokerStars Game #3151648541: Hold’em No Limit ($0.50/$1) – 2015/10/22 12:44:08
Table ‘Beliveau’ 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: P1_163834TU ($77.73 in chips)
Seat 2: P2_173613PT ($124.05 in chips)
Seat 3: Hero ($110.85 in chips)
Seat 5: P5_238474MM ($69.01 in chips)
Seat 6: P6_949168RR ($101.75 in chips)
Hero: posts small blind $0.50
P5_238474MM: posts big blind $1
Dealt to Hero [Th Td]
P6_949168RR: folds
P1_163834TU: calls $1
P2_173613PT: folds
Hero: raises $3 to $4
P5_238474MM: folds
P1_163834TU: calls $3
FLOP  [Qh 5c 3c]
Hero: bets $5.50
P1_163834TU: calls $5.50
TURN  [Qh 5c 3c] [Jd]
Hero: bets $12
P1_163834TU: calls $12

This is a clear betting situation, and one that if you’re even slightly unsure about, I’d advise making sure that you clearly understand. That’s why I’m even posting this hand, because hopefully I can save you some beer money by making sure you don’t miss value in these spots. Missing value versus fish is a MUCH bigger leak than say folding a narrow all-in spot versus a good regular. Bad fish aren’t on many tables anymore, and you need to make sure you’re maximizing your value at all times. I want to point out a couple of points though that will be important not only in a clear spot like this, but even more marginal spots versus weaker fish. I’ll call it John’s, Fried Fish rule, because I like coming up with names for poker theorems. It’s my new thing.



If you’re in a close equity spot versus a fish out of position, and you’re not planning on check / folding, then BET.

You bet for a couple of reasons, but most importantly 1) By betting you can set the price to the next card. You can get away with a lot of smaller bets if you are really unsure about your equity in a given spot, with little fear of being pushed off your hand unless you’re really beta. So if you weren’t going to check / fold, why let the fish set the going price? 2) Fish have a much wider range, than the already wide range you think they might have. 🙂 So you’re betting for value probably more than you actually realize, and at worse you’re controlling the pot size.

Here’s the rest of that hand, not that it matters, in case you were curious. I know we always are. 🙂

 RIVER  [Qh 5c 3c Jd] [8s]
Hero: checks
P1_163834TU: checks
Hero: shows [Th Td]
Hero collected $42 from pot
Total pot $44 | Rake $2
Board [Qh 5c 3c Jd 8s]

Our opponent had AcTs in the replayer. I’m checking the river of course because he’s not calling with 5x or 3x anymore, and he’s rarely value betting, and mostly only bluffing or checking behind.


And probably a tight hand range estimation and equity calculation:


Ace Poker Drills
Board: Qh 5c 3c Jd

Equity        Win            Tie            Hand Range
64.32%        64.0197%            0.3012%            [Td Th]
35.68%        35.3779%            0.3012%            [AcTc(100), Ac9c(100), Ac8c(100), Ac7c(100), Ac6c(100), A5s(100), Ac4c(100), A3s(100), KQs(100), KcJc(100), KcTc(100), K5s(100), KQo(100), QTs+(100), ATo-AJo(100), QTo+(100), 55-JJ(100), Tc9c(100), 9c8c(100), 9c7c(100), 8c7c(100), 8c6c(100), 75s+(100), 65s(100), 6c4c(100), A5o(100), K5o(100), 75o(100), 65o(100), 54s(100), 54o(100), A3o(100), 33(100),]


So make sure to thank the fish at your table for the extra beer money, and don’t miss any value bets! 🙂