Facing a Donk Bet: Situational Hand Analysis with isnortbooze

You are in the early stages of a tournament with the blind levels 25/50. All players involved have approximately starting stack of 5,000 chips.

You are in the early stages of a tournament with the blind levels 25/50. All players involved have approximately starting stack of 5,000 chips. There are a couple limpers, one from early position and one from middle position. You wake up with AKcc on the button and raise to 275. Both blinds fold, as well as the EP limper. The MP limper comes along for the call. The flop rolls off A82 rainbow and the MP player donks out for 350. For those of you not aware, a donk bet is when the player who was not the preflop aggressor comes out with a bet on the flop.

So what is our move here? Do we call? If so, is it to trap or because we want to keep the pot small? Do we raise? If so, how much? Do we fold (lol)? Let's analyze everything we can about the situation and through that, determine our best course of action.

Here is what to consider:

Situation: We are 100 effective BB deep so there is definitely opportunity to win a nice pot with this great flop, as long as the board texture continues in our favor.

Villain Type: Someone who limps then calls can usually be labeled as a loose-passive player, perhaps a calling station who wants to see a lot of flops.

Action: Generally in the early stages of a tournament I will keep my opens around 3x and drop them closer to 2x as blinds increase. Since there were 2 limpers ahead of us, we increase that raise size by at least 2BB, so somewhere between 5-6BB is an appropriate sizing and we chose exactly 5.5x for this demonstration.

Villain Preflop Range: His limp calling range could be super wide here. Think smallish pairs 22-99, any aces, broadway combos (suited or unsuited), suited connectors and some suited 1-gappers.

Total Pot Size Preflop: 675

Flop Texture: This flop hit our hand extremely well with top top. We don't have any flush or straight draws to be concerned about at this time. As far as our opponents range, we aren't worried about any of the broadway hands or suited connectors. There are 12 combos of 2 pair hands he could have (A8 and A2). There are 6 combos of sets he could have (88 and 22). So 18 combos of his range are ahead of us at this point.

Villain Flop Range: If he did have one of those 18 combos that beat us, it wouldn't make sense for him to bet out first, knowing that if he checks we will likely continue as the preflop aggressor. If we don't have a big hand, we will likely fold and he isn't going to realize any value from his holdings. It also wouldn't make sense for him to bet out without having connected with the board at all, especially with the ace on the flop. So it is likely he either has a hand with a weaker ace than ours, a pocket pair 33-99 (with the exception of 88) or another one pair hand with an 8 or 2 in it.

Stack To Pot Ratio: There is 675 in the pot and we have 4725 behind leaving our ratio at 7:1. We are in no way pot committed at this point, and there is plenty of room to play. Our opponent has about the same ratio and therefore is not committed either.

Pot Equity: Based on the fact that we have narrowed our opponent down to a 1 pair type hand which is dominated, we have about 80% equity right now over the possibility of him catching a second pair, a set or a backdoor flush.

Fold Equity: We have a lot of fold equity here since stack sizes are so big. That can often be a good thing, but in this situation it is not so good, because we would like to extract as much value from our opponent as possible. We don't want to scare him away with too large a raise size. The fact that we are heads up is good because he is less likely to stay involved if it is a multi-way pot.

Bet sizing: His bet of just over half the pot often signifies he wants to take it down right there. Since he has been labeled loose-passive, he will likely call a raise if our sizing is correct.

Position: As the button, we have position on him which gives us the opportunity to make our decision based on his actions on every street.

Pot Odds: We are facing a bet of 350 into a pot which is now 1025 (675+350). This gives up about 3:1 (34%) pot odds if we were to just call. Obviously with our approximately 80% Pot equity, we would never fold here, only call or raise.

Pot VS Fold Equity: Fold equity is high here and our pot equity is massive so we have to be careful. But we also want to build a pot and make our opponent pay to catch his hand.

Pot Geometry: We want to get as many chips in the middle as we can. Possibly even his whole stack, by the end. Since all our bets are based on a percentage of the pot, we are going to need to raise this flop to have enough in the pot on the turn and river to make this happen.

Raise Size: As you saw in my video on bet sizing, this is an imperfect science. We basically want to raise the highest possible amount, without making him fold. A good raise here would be about 1,000. This would mean he has to put in 650 more to win a pot of 2025. We don't want to give him the correct odds to call, but we want it to look enticing enough to him that he wants to call. Since he has about 20% pot equity and we are only giving him about 32% pot odds, this is a good sizing. Any more and he is likely to fold and any less and we are doing ourselves a disservice by giving him the correct odds to catch up.

Donk Bet can be Confusing
Facing a donk bet can be a confusing situation. Generally, people who make this play are less experienced, because the standard is to always let the aggressor have the opportunity to continue betting. This switches up position and give us a turn to react to his play. Most of the time our opponent will donk out to find out where they are in the hand or see another street for cheap. Because of this, when facing a donk bet, I will raise almost 100% of the time regardless of my holdings. Try experimenting with this play, you will be shocked at how often you get the fold. The only time I won't is if I miss completely and don't have a big enough stack to get the proper amount of fold equity. Even if I hit the flop huge, I will put in a raise to balance my ranges. And now that we have decided to raise most of the time in this situation, the factors above are what we use to decide how much to raise. Enjoy!

250 Thank You Freeroll Tickets
I will be giving away three 250 Guaranteed Freeroll tickets to people who comment below. How do you respond to a donk bet? Entries must be received by 10AM EST Wednesday to qualify.

Good Luck!

 Filed under: Poker, Tipsy Talk, Tipsy Tips, Donk Bet


michigan1: I respond to a donk bet with
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:35

I respond to a donk bet with a allin donket of my own :)

JennaROX: What if ...
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 18:38

What if I am the donk?

StareYouDown: This made me laugh jenna lol
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 23:23

This made me laugh jenna lol

Underworld: Depends what I have...
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 21:02

Headline is my first thought, But then paid attention to your text once again, especially on part where you say" Try experimenting with this play, you will be shocked at how often you get the fold. " Great article, and "And now that we have decided to raise most of the time in this situation, the factors above are what we use to decide how much to raise. Enjoy!" Just great, I need to try this :)

StareYouDown: I run into those lead out
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 23:22

I run into those lead out donk bet's often in the smaller buy-in tournaments, i just snap click it back to 700 makes them think it's a misclick and they come for the JAM!! and flip over 10J, since they can still re enter... depends on the buy-in or stage of the tournament also I guess, but sometimes I might just call and see what they do on the turn which most times they end up only putting 2 barrels and we come for the small bet on the river to possibly induce them into their donk thoughts again :) so they feel like they can just jam it and take it away

abdou: I'm interested in all your publications
Mon, 06/12/2017 - 23:58

Sayed: isnort booze you always ignore me

rangercock: Its a slow play
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 01:44

They are trying to slow the action or take control. While the possibility of trips or 2 pair is present, odd are a low kicker A. In turn, turn up the heat. Push their bet by 2.5 and see if they respond.

seanrc: Play em or lay em
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 04:33

When i find that im not the actual donk myself, I either would come back at them or smooth call setting a trap, Based on previous exp. with player

oriole: When someone who is not a reg
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:31

When someone who is not a reg donkbets it says to me that they don't want you to bet big and want to see cheap turn, so I think raising most of the time makes sense. I'm not raising wet boards if I completely missed, because I won't get him to fold a draw on flop and I don't like raising when we have a draw with showdown value like an ace high flush draw. I also like to raise with bluffs more early and less later when we have played 100+ hands, because he will eventually start calling with any hand that has showdown value and I don't want to risk too much of my stack to get him lay down small pair or ace high.

jaqkt__: go big or go home
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 16:54

I shove all in and hope for the best.

DoubleT: who am i?
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 19:10

It is all about the psychology as we all players know poker is all about that. All those new school players with their mathematical odds etc. can suck a dick when it comes to nose bleeding action. I am math person myself, but for all the time I've been playing poker only place where math comes handy is a position play (at least for me).
As for donk-bet: if it happens after flop there is high chance of still getting another turn-bet so raise is a risky action if You don't know the player. I would go for raise on the turn with flop so dry.

winawyna: oh yes i know the feeling.
Tue, 06/13/2017 - 20:09

oh yes i know the feeling..can be annoying cos u cant count out the possibility that you may be beat with a set..as for me i call and see his action on the turn..if check den i raise, if small raise i reraise, if big raise then i fold and live to fight another day..lol..nice one scot

Marukh666: its a cracker short.
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 01:51

As i respond to donkbet that some time it make you hero from zero..i mysrelf do Donk sometime and found success..

shandefoye: me with donk
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 03:10

Mostly player just take action with a littlebit of rais and wait for the reaction, But my respond to donk is Rais all in to the table at that time bcz I wanna be rich but really quick..

Coinsforlife: Could he be bluffing ever?
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 03:11

I think raising is potentially a good idea, but what about the times where he is bluffing with complete air. Also do we have back door nut flush draw? Maybe he donk leads with suited connectors to a back door flush draw that we have the nuts too? Generally speaking you are right he typically doesn't have complete air, but need to put that in as a possibility. With the board so dry I like flatting here. So u have a pot of 675+350+350. So to a turn bet the pot will be at 1350. I generally dont think people are gonna be calling a raise on the flop and two more streets with Ax. I would think he may have like Ax suited hand or maybe 89, but if he has Ax type hand, I think a raise on the flop will make him fold the Ax types of hand (giving you credit for the better kicker). You are going to get at least one more street of value if you flat and he has Ax. I know he can hit two pair and "suckout" but protecting your hand and getting value are a tough balance for some people. So if your faced with a turn bet of say like 700, I would still flat or if he checks to you, you can bet like 1/2 pot. Then the river i would assume he would check if he didnt hit 2 pair, or may check call with a worse kicker. In this case if he fires 3 streets into you and he has you beat then unlucky. But if he checks the river to you again, 1/3ish pot bet would be fitting. I dont think anyone is gonna want to call off a big bet with Ax so you dont want to get greedy with a large bet. Just want to make sure to value him. Sorry for the long and clustered post. Additionally, we dont know the turn and river cards, so things can change there as well. Flatting gives him the option to "hang himself" get and get stuck with Ax for another bet or 2.

wishiswish: its donk time with booze
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 03:18

using psychology at the particular situation is the best respond from my side to DONK bet.

xiyanxook: following
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 03:44

I rais for his turn if found call in respond then I definitely followed him because poker is not just for joker.

Angle4run: best time for rais
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 04:37

I would be likig rais in that situation.but focus on stacking amount.

joicypoltas: feeling better
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 05:17

While facing donkbet is an amazing feeling in poker life.
Everyone strive to rais hand as u see above.

isnortbooze: Congrats DoubleT, Coinsforlife and jaqkt__!
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 13:46

You guys win this week's tickets!
I really enjoyed reading all the answers. It is great to see the different ways everyone looks at hands. Obviously my way is not going to be the best for everyone, but my goal is to keep you thinking!
Abdou, I am definitely not ignoring you and I truly appreciate the love you have given my posts and youtube videos. You won a ticket on April 26th and I want to be fair to everyone before I start giving out second tickets to people. You are a good dude, though, and I appreciate your feedback.
Right now, I am still trying to pick from people who haven't won yet, while choosing a mix of people with the most interesting or funniest answers. But we are coming to the point where most of the regular responders have already won, so please keep those answers coming because once everyone has won, I am going to be choosing more based on response and less on giving everyone a chance. But everyone deserves to win at least once first.
Until next time,

magicleon2: haven got 250 tix
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 15:34

hi booze , i won one of the 250 ty utix in a forum post about 2 weeks ago, haven got the tix yet haha ,my username is magicleon2 .. thanks!:)

isnortbooze: Sorry worldpeace
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:00

That was my fault, I always check the transfer name before I give them the names to send tickets too but must have missed yours.
I don't send the tickets myself, but I will let them know to send one out to you.

magicleon2: np thanks:)
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 16:53

all good haha , thanks for the tix bro

Marukh666: sir
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:03

Mr isnort i appreciated you but i also cant received from you..hope i'll be the next..

isnortbooze: Marukh666
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 19:09

You won a ticket on Apr 26 also, but I definitely notice that you comment on every post and I appreciate it and will get back around to you as soon as possible.

Herpetic Sore: Great article, Scot
Wed, 06/14/2017 - 22:23

Unfortunately, we cannot use this advice any more at Betcoin, since they have replaced the Daily Coin with the Daily We Don't Know What We Are Going To Do --- I literally cannot understand why Betcoin is not offering poker any longer.

spaced: i like to throw out some donk bets from time to time
Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:27

when I have the top of my range, I balance it by donk betting my draws as well. it's confusing and fuck the standard.

spaced: i have to say however
Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:25

generally speaking a donk bet is very hard to balance, and should only be used in very situational circumstances. Also I will add that I'm generally not looking to get all the money in this early with one pair, I would probably just flat and see what happens on turn, more likely than not he will check you will bet and take down the pot. if he bets turn I will probably call, if he shoves river I sometimes find a fold very read specific, but in general if its a safe run out I still call. As previously stated theres not a whole lot to beat you, I just see very little reason to inflate the pot in this particular situation this early in the tournament.

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