The Poker Game of Life

Poker and scotch on the rocks. Below are my reflections on life and poker. My journey from $4-8 as a past time to $30-60 for serious money and my life experiences in between.

Location: seattle, Washington, United States

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Value betting on the river

Lately I've been thinking a lot about value betting on the river. Conventional old school wisdom says that you should only bet the river when you are likely to get called by a hand that is worse. That means if you think your opponent is going to call you down with mid pair no kicker that you should bet mid pair with a strong kicker. Sounds funny but those extra bets add up.

The problem that I've been debating is whether or not the fact that your opponent knows you only bet the river for value negates the value that you gain from this bet. For example, if your opponent knows that you only bet the end with a strong hand but that you'll bet the flop and turn on bluffs does he become correct to call you on the flop and turn with a weak hand and fold if you bet the river?

Therefore I'm a proponent that on occassion you should bet the river on a pure bluff as well. Not that I haven't been doing this but I just started really formalizing my thought process on this topic recently.