What is a Value Bet?
Quite simply, a value bet is classed as any bet which is made with the intention to get called by a worse hand. This can go from a clear value bet when you have something like a Full House, to the more blurred lines of betting for value with middle pair because you think that you may get looked up by ace high or a smaller pair.
Against opponents that you face frequently you should try to make your bet sizes the same, whether you are bluffing or value betting. This ensures that players can’t develop a bet sizing read on you over the long run. In tournaments where you have a table full of strangers it becomes slightly less important. If you think a player is calling down extremely wide every hand, it makes sense to bet bigger for value and not even bother bluffing at all. Sometimes a larger bet when a flush draw misses will arouse suspicion, just as a very small bet can arouse curiosity when the price to call is so good. It’s important to observe individual player tendencies.
Be aware that boards develop. You’ll want to value bet JJ on a ten high flop, but if a Q and a K come off, things become very tricky. Often in poker, altering board textures will mean you have to accept only getting two, or even one street of value from starting hands as strong as AA. Try not to feel frustrated and don’t force the issue. Board textures are the key to how much value you can go for, and you must always be guided by that, regardless of how pretty your starting hand looks.
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