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Donk Bets


The donk bet move is used more on this site than I see in live games both tourney and cash. It's also recommended a lot as a move. The old Dan Harrington book used to call it a probing bet. Any thoughts on solid range construction for donk bets? Thinking that you need to do so enough to be able to lead with premium hands and get action. But its still building a pot from out of position with marginal mades and draws


  • rcmorear

    TLDR: Yeah, I agree.

    Details as follow:

    I just started here yesterday but this is something I have absolutely noticed. Not only is it true, but also it appears to be highly recommended to donk, at least if you are going to assume that the tracking metrics provide accurate feedback on how to play. In particular, my general view is that if I'm the preflop raiser I will tend to lead out, but if I'm not the preflop raiser I will tend to check to the raiser. Of course not always in either case, but in general.

    Now, leading out when you weren't the preflop raiser is the definition of "donk" and fair or not it is a pejorative. In my view, it's not always bad, but "donking" isn't something I'm particularly looking to increase in my game. Moreover, it isn't something anyone, say Dan Harrington or Doug Polk, is particularly advising I add to my game. Yet, if you aren't donking, then you are checking whenever you were not the raiser. And if your computer opponent does like to donk, then even when you were the raiser the action has often been taken before it gets to you.

    I would say in my real-life games I am the pre-flop raiser more often than not. This gives me the chance to be the on-flop bettor more often than not. And my opponents don't donk a huge amount, meaning the action isn't taken from me too often. Against the AI here, none of this is true. Meanwhile, the recommended stat line appears to be to have a bet/raise: call ratio between 1.7 and 3.5. I would agree with the low end of that range in the live games I play, but to get to the high end of it seems like you'd be giving away money to trappers. Meanwhile, against the AI here, which likes to bet out and also likes to raise, you'd have to glue down the raise button to get to 3.5 times more often than the AI.

    So, in short, yeah, a lot of donking, and it has a lot of follow-on impact.

  • pokershaman
    edited February 2020

    check out this thread on Two Plus Two's Live Low-Stakes NL forum.

    To repeat what I said there: in a Nash equilibrium situation where the in-position preflop raiser has a significant check-back range, the out-of-position preflop caller must necessarily have a significant donk-leading range.

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