But what situations require overbetting? And how should you react to your opponents' overbets? In this article, money gambling expert Fried Melders will help us answer these questions.
We'll take a close look at the 4 overbet hand histories that Freedom analyzed. Each of these hands was posted by members of the Upswing Lab to our private group, where Freed and the other Upswing trainers share their invaluable advice.
When deciding whether to bluff with an overbet here, we must first consider how many combinations of values we would play this way. Since we called button 4 from the big blind, we don't have a ton of Tx or 7x hands in our range.
We can have hands like T9, 78 and 76 due to the relatively small size of the 4-bet. But removing on a paired board means we can only have two combinations of each of these hands. We can also have AT and JT - an extra four hands - if we play them this way preflop.
We can also have T ♥ T ♣ for quadrilaterals, which brings the total number of value combinations to 11 - which is a pretty high estimate. As a result, we have to choose our bluff overbets very carefully on this river, otherwise we will quickly become unbalanced.
Also, I would be a little wary of bluffing here because our opponent checked the flop, which is very profitable for c-betting. We also need to be careful not to assume that our opponent is “weak” just because he checked the flop - a competent player will have a balanced checking range of overpairs that can call on the turn and river.
[Editor's Note This raise is not an overbet - it was accidentally included in this list - but we are going to include it anyway because the information is helpful to our readers.]
Situation on the river
On this river, our opponent has more tight combos in his range than we do, considering they called our open raise MP with BB. T7 makes nuts and our opponent can have all four matching T7 combinations, while we shouldn't have any of them in our MP RFI range. Since this board prefers our opponent's range, it doesn't make sense to have a wide bluff-raising range.
When we decide to bluff, we want to use hands that block our opponent's strongest hands. 76 and 87 would be good bluff candidates because they block both mid-sets and straights. Actually A3s would be a pretty reasonable bluffing hand because it doesn't block our opponent's bluffs. Bluffing a raise with middle pair may seem strange when you are bluffing bottom pair in one place, but it is the most effective way to analyze our range on this river.
Calling with this hand makes a lot of sense. Since we are holding the red jacks, we are not blocking any of the flush draws in play that our opponent could overbet on this river. We also completely block QJs - there are no possible QJs left - this is a valuable hand that our opponent could play this way.
What other hands could we call with this action? Definitely our Qx and any AA and KK combinations we choose to check on the flop. Hands like TT (and worse) should usually be folded to avoid being called against this big bet.
Betting the turn is also smart play. Our opponent might have a Qx hand that checks back on the flop, but this is less likely given Q ♣. The hard nature of the board can also cause more calls from our opponent, which makes the relatively small J ♥ J ♦ value bet more attractive. If after betting the turn you are faced with a raise, you can call and assess the situation on the river. From a theoretical point of view, we should cause a shock on brick rivers because of our blockers. In practice, however, it is likely that many players are bluffing at this point, which justifies exploitatively folding the river with J ♥ J ♦ against a shove.
At this size, we have to be right almost 36% of time to call profitably. We can call with all of our 8x combos, and we have a lot in our range considering we called from the big blind preflop. Our strongest hands Jx also fall into this calling range. (Calling with all Jx hands will result in a redirect.)
A ♣ 4 particularly is a particularly bad calling hand because it blocks a lot of flush draws that our opponent can bluff with. Unless your opponent has a sick soul written, you should always let A ♣ 4 ♣ here.
In situations like this, when you are playing against someone you know personally, it can be easy to level yourself up to challenge the hero. However, it is important to avoid such wars as they often lead to wrong decisions.
When overbetting, use a polarized range and choose bluffs based on the effectiveness of their blockers. When faced with an overbet, be careful about pot odds and narrow your calling range accordingly.