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  #1  
Old 12-23-2005, 12:58 PM
Pokey Pokey is offline
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Default Betting patterns as tells.

OK, so I'm a low-skill player who wants to be better. I've been trying to improve my understanding of the concept of betting patterns and the hands they represent, but I've run into a problem: I can't tell when a stupid bet is a stupid value bet vs. a stupid bluff.

Example: someone check/calls the flop, check/calls the river, then pushes all-in for 3x the pot on the river. It seems that at the $11s, this could be a pure bluff from a missed hand that's trying to buy the pot OR a bizarre value-bet from a nut set that was scared of the draws all along and finally realizes their hand is good.

Example 2: the exact same betting pattern with a very scary river card (an ace or a third/fourth card to a suit, a pairing of the board or a fourth card to a straight). Sometimes this is a monster that survived bad odds on the draw and made it and now wants a big payoff, but sometimes this is a stone bluff to try and buy the pot.

What factors can help me decide between the two possibilities? Please help me think about this problem with more precision.
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:06 PM
splashpot splashpot is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

Do you have a specific hand where this happened? Lots of the time if you make a good sized bet on both the flop and the turn, you won't have that many chips left anyways. So you'd have to call the river just based on pot odds alone.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:08 PM
jonoo jonoo is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

1)the cards on the board (example 1 could mean anything. without knowing anything else about the hand it could mean a missed draw, or if you checked to him on the river he could just be expoiting that show of weakness. It could also be a slowplayed monster hand i.e. top set.)
2)previous hands played w/ villian (have you seen him push on the river before? did you see what he pushed with? is he a lag or a tighty?)
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:09 PM
Pokey Pokey is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

splashpot: I'm really *not* thinking about a specific hand or hands; I'm trying to think about a situation. In general, these happen early in the tournament (level 1 or 2) so that the river bet is a definite overbet to the pot. I could try and find an example if you think it would help illustrate the point, but I'd rather not be specific, since I'd rather think about the broader question of reading betting patterns rather than analyzing a specific hand.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:14 PM
roundest roundest is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

[ QUOTE ]
splashpot: I'm really *not* thinking about a specific hand or hands; I'm trying to think about a situation. In general, these happen early in the tournament (level 1 or 2) so that the river bet is a definite overbet to the pot. I could try and find an example if you think it would help illustrate the point, but I'd rather not be specific, since I'd rather think about the broader question of reading betting patterns rather than analyzing a specific hand.

[/ QUOTE ]

In a broader sense, the information that you get on the end is usually correct. In other words, when he has shown weakness on every street and then suddenly shows a lot of strength on the end, he has a hand most of the time. If I don't have a specific read, I'm folding.

Most of the players at the 11s have no idea what size bets they should be making.
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:14 PM
splashpot splashpot is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

See the problem with trying to generalize the situation like that is the fact that it depends on so many other things. How scary the board is, how strong your hand is, your position, his position, your stack sizes, how desperate each of you are getting, the blind sizes, etc. I mean really, in some situations, what you described could be a clear fold. In other situations it would be a clear call.

In my experience, it is easier to learn from specific hands. Just post hand after hand after hand. Even if you get ripped apart. Even if you look like a complete noob. Even if you get flamed to death. That's the easiest way to get a feel for it. It's how I learned.
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:27 PM
sofere sofere is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

I agree with splashpot here. All reads of betting patterns are based on the situation. I like to put myself in his shoes and think, what would I have done if I had XX...what if I had YY?

No one here will be able to tell you that a check-call, check-call, push is always/usually/generally a bluff without some kind of situational context. Its not like a physical read where you can say if someone leans forward they are strong or something like that.
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:29 PM
Pokey Pokey is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

Ironically, you answered my question when you said you couldn't answer my question. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

[ QUOTE ]
it depends on so many other things. How scary the board is, how strong your hand is, your position, his position, your stack sizes, how desperate each of you are getting, the blind sizes, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is the kind of thing I was looking for: what are the main issues to consider when this situation pops up. Am I interpreting the list correctly here?

1. "How scary the board is, how strong your hand is," -- in a sense, these two are the same, since the scariness of the board is directly related to the strength of your hand. If you've got a hand that can only lose to a flush, and someone makes a huge bet on the flush card, that's a more likely call than if they make a huge bet on the flush card when you've got fourth pair.

2. "your position, his position," -- I tend to see these hands most frequently in a heads-up situation, so these also become the same issue. I'd say if he's behind me it's more likely a bluff after I showed weakness, whereas if he's in front of me, it's more likely a real bet.

3. "your stack sizes, how desperate each of you are getting, the blind sizes," -- all three of these seem closely related. If he's either very desperate or very deep-stacked, it's more likely the bet is a bluff. If I'm very short-stacked, it's more likely the bet is a bluff. If I'm deep-stacked and he's got a middle-stack, it's more likely a value bet.

Am I thinking about these issues correctly or am I fundamentally confuzzled?
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:30 PM
Cry Me A River Cry Me A River is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

[ QUOTE ]

but I'd rather not be specific,


[/ QUOTE ]

The whole point of the previous replies is that you can't generalise here, you need some kind of read on the opponent - ie: a weak/tight opponent, particularly a calling station, is unlikely to try a big river bluff while a LAG is far more likely to be trying to buy the pot. Still, even a huge LAG will sometimes have a hand, and even the biggest rock will try to make a move (or mistake) every once in a while. So there's always going to be some margin of error.

If they've just called all the way then pushed the river, the only information you have is A) reads and B) the calls themselves - ie: Did they call a preflop raise? How many players in the pot before they limped? What about the flop/turn action? Were they calling behind several other callers, possibly giving them pot/implied odds to chase?

Against complete donkeys this kind of info is going to be less valuable if they play the same from any position or will chase regardless of odds. However, this is why the replies have been asking for specific hands, because there may be more information available than you think there is. Particularly if you can get any kind of read on the player with respect to donkey/not donkey, passive/aggressive and loose/tight.
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:35 PM
splashpot splashpot is offline
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Default Re: Betting patterns as tells.

[ QUOTE ]
Ironically, you answered my question when you said you couldn't answer my question. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

[ QUOTE ]
it depends on so many other things. How scary the board is, how strong your hand is, your position, his position, your stack sizes, how desperate each of you are getting, the blind sizes, etc.

[/ QUOTE ]

This is the kind of thing I was looking for: what are the main issues to consider when this situation pops up. Am I interpreting the list correctly here?

1. "How scary the board is, how strong your hand is," -- in a sense, these two are the same, since the scariness of the board is directly related to the strength of your hand. If you've got a hand that can only lose to a flush, and someone makes a huge bet on the flush card, that's a more likely call than if they make a huge bet on the flush card when you've got fourth pair.

2. "your position, his position," -- I tend to see these hands most frequently in a heads-up situation, so these also become the same issue. I'd say if he's behind me it's more likely a bluff after I showed weakness, whereas if he's in front of me, it's more likely a real bet.

3. "your stack sizes, how desperate each of you are getting, the blind sizes," -- all three of these seem closely related. If he's either very desperate or very deep-stacked, it's more likely the bet is a bluff. If I'm very short-stacked, it's more likely the bet is a bluff. If I'm deep-stacked and he's got a middle-stack, it's more likely a value bet.

Am I thinking about these issues correctly or am I fundamentally confuzzled?

[/ QUOTE ]
Lol. That is what you were looking for? That's basicly hand reading skills. You have to do this for just about every hand you play. Not just when they check/call, check/call, push. Well, anyways, glad I helped....I guess.
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