If there is one thing that is missing from any Micro stakes game (be it a large field MTT or Sit and Go's) it's good Value in the bets that are made.

 

If you have a strong hand, min betting 50 into a 500 pot is not only going to encourage people to play with draws due to the strong Pot Odds but also it does nothing to build Value.

 

If someone is in the hand, chances are they liked their hand preflop and you want to make it as expensive as you can to play with you. By doing this not only do you give the image of a strong player that plays aggresivly (which has the added bonus of limiting the types of hands some opponents will play against you with) but more importantly it means that if someone thinks their hand is better you are charging as much as you can to see the next card.

 

Unless you have the absolute nuts, your hand could become downgraded by the next card... sure, AA with A-K-5 is strong but if your opponent has K5 and you give away a free card with a check or too low of a bet, you are giving them the chance to pickup a 6 outer by the Turn (only 12% or so but its still a chance) to beat you.

Now, don't get me wrong - with K5, your opponent will probably call a good 50% bet... but by doing that and allowing them to pay the right price, you add value so that if the board doesn't pair then by the time they reach showdown you are collecting a bigger pot than if you had let them try and bet back at you or try to trick them into getting trapped on the turn.

 

Most of the time when trapping, unless your hand is VERY strong (I am talking the nuts or 2nd nuts at least) your opponent will only bet into you or call a strong bet towards the end of the hand if they have you beat, otherwise they will fold so if you tiptoed to the river hoping that they would catch something small so that you could try and get all their chips... most people will fold in that spot or call you with a better hand.

 

Don't forget, we see the flop so little that if we do have a strong hand, we want to get the most out of it that we can. Unlike loose players who see lots of small pots, we can't afford to just run the risk of losing Value or giving away freecards, we need the most amount of chips possible.. so that is a bet that our opponent will call with a weaker hand but a bet that isn't so small that we open the door to draws or so small that we let them call a low bet when they would call a higher one.

 

There is nothing worse that seeing you have Full house your opponent has Trips and he was betting into you with a min.bet (because he didn't know better) and you were calling trying to keep him in the hand... he min.bets the river and you raise it 50% and he calls.

You left him with most of his chips when it was clear here that he would have played against you if you made the price right from the start.

 

So overall we want to build Value but deter Draws.

We want to know that our opponent will typically fold to a strong bet unless he has a good made hand. We want then to be able to dominate his made hand (Top pair vs our two pair) and then keep the price high enough that we are guarding against him seeing a card unless he pays the right price. His pair could become trips if we give him a low price to see the next card but as long as we keep it high, if he does suckout on us at least we made it the right price for us to cash in had he not got lucky.

 

Some people are worried no doubt that in trying to build value they will scare their opponents off.

That is not such a bad thing... Unless you have the absolute nuts for that board, any card to come has the pottential to change the position leader.

Sure, it is annoying to see a flop with AA and 3 opponents, it comes with an Ace and you are first to act... the hand didn't even give anyone the chance to bluff at it and you know for an almost certainty that unless someone has a good hand like trips or two pair, the Ace is a VERY big scare card. The temptation is to slow-play it here and give away a free card.

Say you do, you check it and one opponent min.bets it, the other calls and you call.

Turn comes with a club, you decide the trap you are setting up is ready to be primed so you make it 30%, the 2nd opponent calls and so does the 3rd.

River comes with another club, you decide to lower down a nice 50% bet to seal the deal, first opponent raises, 3rd re-raises and everyone gets it in.

First opponent shows lower trips and 3rd shows the Flush.

 

Now in this spot, the opponent with Trips was also trying to slow-play (or didnt know bet sizing rules) and the opponent with the backdoor flush possibly felt on the Flop he had the right price to chase a better hand.. or decided to gamble, either way it was such a low price it was worth it.

Once the turn came around he now had a flush draw and although you bet it 30%, he is priced in by the time the other Trips opponent calls and decides to play his Flush Draw.

He hits it on the river and you lose.

 

In this hand you could have guarded against this draw by making it more expensive on the flop, you could have got rid of the Flush and just faced the lower trips who would have called anything you bet at him.

 

Although the example above is fictious and I wrote it to illustrate my point, more often than not you will get stuck when slowplaying a good hand more than you will gain value.

Worst case, you get sucked out on

Less than Worst case, you get a showdown with no real pot to claim

 

 

Next when it comes to Value is the overbet.

 

It doesn't matter if it is the BB shoving at me (with about 20BB+) to scare me off my steal, it doesn't matter if it is the shove (equivilant to 3-4x the pot) c-bet on the flop... the check-raise shove for again possibly 3-4x the pot... or even the person who is stealing low level blinds with consistent 4x bets.

I hate these moves... they require no skill and although sometimes I think at the micros it isn't a bluff as more of the opponent not knowing how to get the most out of his value.

Flop comes A-K-3 and opponent has AK, he shoves and unless you have AJ-AQ and want to take the risk or perhaps have K3, KK or 33 you are going to fold.

So from the perspective of the player who shoved, he thought he was doing the right thing no doubt... caught a small flop-pot and had the chance to double up with his killer hand.

 

What he doesn't understand is that this move gets him no real value. He is only getting called by a weaker player or a better hand and to count on one over the other for your Torny life is beyond reason.

At least if you want to extract some value, 50% the flop then jam the turn but to jam it in on the flop is pointless.

 

Then there is the BB shove. It is defensive, it makes a bold statement but unless you are holding JJ-AA or AK, this move screams of desperation and if you make this move 100 times:

60 times your opponent folds and you collect the 2BB bet and earn yourself 120BB

30 times you shove and lose, losing 20BB x 30 = 600BB

10 times you shove and win, earning 20BB x 10 = 200BB

 

So in this example, you win 320BB but lose 600BB!!!

 

If however you just raised under the same circumstances and providing your opponent was willing to pay 50% at each street to showdown (just for this example)

30 times your opponent folds and you collect 2BB bet and earn yourself 60BB

50 times you raise and don't hit the flop, losing 2BB x 50 = 100BB

20 times you raise and win, earning 12BB (or so) x 20 = 240BB

 

In this example you win 300BB and only lose 100BB ... so here is an example of where you get value in the longterm from playing it smart and nothing if you just shove at your opponent.

 

Its all about Value... its the reason why good players chip up and bad players waste very good hands