Thinking equity in poker
December 08, 2010 :: Posted by - Poker Tips :: Category - Poker Tips
Tip #10 – Thinking equity in poker
In online poker games, there are many underlying reasons as to why you need to think about equity before you play a poker hand. One of those reasons comes when you attempt to steal or place pressure on the blinds by raising from position.
Every time that you open raise from the cut-off seat or the hijack then it is in your interests to have the people to your left believe you. This means that if you open raise with 100% of your range from position then this kind of low sophistication raising can really only succeed against very weak players. Better players will simply not stand for this and will play back at you.
But what is worse is that when your range is as transparent as this then your opponents will massively expand their three betting ranges and be correct to do so. In order to get away with as many blind steals as possible then it is important that your opponents believe you. In order to achieve this situation then you need to cultivate the image that you are not raising all the time.
The next objective is to raise with hands that have equity if your initial raise is called. So it is clearly far better to raise with a hand like J-9s than 8-4o simply because the former has far better equity based on its post flop hand making potential.
Don’t Be Too Aggressive
You do not need to c-bet every flop either. Raising from position and c-betting are well known poker concepts and are so well known that it is often correct play to try and take advantage of aggressive play than to be aggressive yourself.
I often find it is better to three bet a raiser with J-10s when I have position than be three bet when I have the same hand by a player that has position on me. This is exactly my point when I say that it can be better to exploit aggression than to be the initial aggressor yourself and this can especially be the case in today’s far more aggressive online poker games.
So in order to get away with your stealing and re-stealing then you need to do this with hands that have some equity when your opponent calls you. If your opponent raises with A-Q and you three bet with J-10c and the flop comes 8c-4c-2d then you could easily bet that flop if checked to or raise or call if your opponent bets.
Having hands with equity allows you to escape from situations post flop by having fold equity. In this situation then even if you ended up in an all-in situation then you would still have the equity of a nine out flush draw in your favour plus your overcard outs.
It is always better to think about equity whenever you play a poker hand both before, during and even after the session as post session analysis will prove to be a major part of your advancement as a poker player.
This tip can be used in conjunction with this important tip about classifying your opponents. You should also check out this article on how to spot and exploit weaknesses from other poker players.
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