Saturday, April 14, 2012

Poker pearl #74

The Apr. 4 issue of Card Player magazine has an article by two-time bracelet winner Steve Zolotow called "Value Checking."

Suppose you are in the big blind with K 10, and several players limp. The flop comes K 10 4. Since there are both a straight draw and flush draw on the board, you decide not to risk giving a free card. You bet out with your two pair, and get one caller.

The turn is the 2. You bet again and are called again. The 4 comes on the river, pairing the board. It is unlikely that your opponent has a 4, so you might think that value betting your top two pair again is the best plan.

It is much more likely that your opponent started with a flush draw (like 9 8) or a straight draw (such as Q J). If he has either of these two hands and you bet, he will promptly fold. This is the time for a value check. After your check, he will probably put you on a weak pair or a missed draw. This means he will bluff all of his missed draws or make a value bet with a reasonable king such as K-J. Now you can happily call.

This value check enables you to win a reasonably large bet that you never could have won by betting yourself.

* * *
Did you know?
Zolotow is one of quite a few people who play both bridge and poker. I did an interview with him in 2008 that you can read here.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty good article. You sure Brent Manley didn't write that one? ;)