Mixed Bet Size Strategy- An Example with Betcoin's Christopher Leather

In the absence of perfect exploitative information, one must rely on game theory to guide the shifting of bet size used in a mixed strategy.

by isnortbooze on December 18th, 2017

Mixed Bet Size Strategy- An Example with Betcoin's Christopher Leather

In the absence of perfect exploitative information, one must rely on game theory to guide the shifting of bet size used in a mixed strategy. Employing such a strategy is necessary against complex, game theory aware opponents. The idea is to use cards that coincide favorably with one bet size over another based on their blocker characteristics for the board texture in question. Below is an example, as food for thought. Keep in mind the variables in this example are structured to illustrate a point, not to be indicative of the most effective strategy.

The Situation
The board texture is 4c Th Qh 2s 2d.
You plan on overbetting 1.5x pot as part of your mixed bet size strategy. Would you rather hold the AhQc or the AdQc to do so?
You'd rather hold the AhQc.

The Analysis
Ah blocks our opponent from having the nut flush draw, which means more made hand combinations for our opponent, which means more hands they'll be deciding to call or fold with. They could always decide to turn some of those made hands into a bluff, of course!
Ah blocks Ah2h which is the most likely 2x combo that most opponents will have, depending on the preflop action. This means less combinations have improved to beat our hand.
Ah blocks our opponent from having a blocker to our bluffs (which means that our opponent can't have a hand like TdAh, which prevents us from having the nut flush draw as a bluff when he's faced with a 1.5x pot bet size), which would result in more folds from a game theory oriented opponent, which will instead result in more calls for us. This is the most important reason to use the Ah for our 1.5x pot bet size, because it has the most impact on our opponent's decision, therefore our result.

Additional Factors to Consider
Though today's example focuses on which combo to use as an overbet and why, there's an endless amount of things to analyze on any given board texture, like....
What's a terrible hand to use as a 1.5x bluff on this runout?
Jh9h comes to mind. A good portion of our opponent's river folding range will consist of the flush and straight draw combos that Jh9h blocks. This means our opponent will have less folding hands in their range and call us more often. This is a poor combination to use as a bluff for ANY bet size on this board texture, and would only be used as an exploitative bluff.
What's a great hand to overbet the river with for value?
A hand like Kh2h would be a great hand to 1.5x overbet the pot with for value because the Kh is an extremely bluff-oriented card that's used in flush draw and straight draw combinations. Trip 2's are well-disguised and ahead of most of your opponent's hands, especially if they're the preflop caller with a relatively capped range (meaning we can exclude QQ and often TT, leaving just 3 combinations of 44 that beat us).

The blocker characteristics of the cards in your hand change as a hand progresses. You may have a great combo for bluffing on one street that becomes a horrid combo for bluffing on the next.
If you want to get better at game theory, get used to thinking about how your hand relates to your opponent's decisions.
A good way to practice is to view random board textures and think about what cards would or wouldn't be good to have in your hand for different bet sizes and different intentions (bluffs or value bets).

Christopher Leather
@emperorming93 on Twitter
UncouthWombat on Betcoin

Thank You Freeroll Tickets
We will be giving away tickets to this Sunday's Thank You Freeroll to people who respond below. What do you think of the information given? Do you have any strategies that you apply for mixed betting? Entries must be received by Thursday at 10AM EST to qualify. Good luck!

 Filed under: Poker, Mixed Bet Strategy


michigan1: :)
Mon, 12/18/2017 - 15:36

very good article. i have to using better betting sizing i usually get excited when i have a big hand and bet too big.

abdou: Recklessness leads to loss
Mon, 12/18/2017 - 21:10

In poker 70% luck

Shahista: wow extremely usefull info
Mon, 12/18/2017 - 22:17

I especialy liked how well you explained the part about how to value bet a overall bluffy holding that hit hard and oponents range contains little bluffs due to us having such a large number of combinations to complete bluff hands.
Keep up the great work :)

<3 Long live BETCOIN!!! <3

JennaROX: Thanks Shahista
Tue, 12/19/2017 - 03:50

I gotta tell ya... This new positive attitude from you is such a better look on you! Happy to see you happy!

Chris9999: Great insight
Tue, 12/19/2017 - 07:53

Motivation is the key to success

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