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Taking Over The Betting


Taking over the betting
It's very typical for everyone to wait to bet on the flop for the original pre flop aggressor to make his continuation bet

If someone 'steals your betting' what does this tell us? Extreme strength, doesn't want you to bet, has a read that you always bet and trying to tame your aggression????


  • pgearan

    Funny, I recently been attending more to these "donk" bets and what is revealed if they get to showdown.

    In the absence of you discerning that the player is intentionally trying to slow you down (maybe because you have been pre-flop raising and C-betting often in recent hands), I see it as most often a sign that they have a solid medium strength hand (overpair, top pair/top kicker, perhaps bottom two pair if they played out of a blind or could have suited connectors/gapped connectors) and they see the pre-flop aggressor as almost invariably going to call the flop bet as they are not going to want to cede the hand quite yet. I think these hands lie more in this medium strength range because if they flopped a set or better, I think they are looking to check-raise if they know 80% of the time the aggressor will c-bet. Conversely, if they have weaker holdings like second or bottom pair, or pocket pairs lower than Broadway cards on the board, I think they are check calling or check folding depending on their interpretation of the aggressor's c-bet and the structure of the board. T

    Trickier players will mix in some monster hands as well as some premium draws to keep things balanced of course. But if the player is fairly straightforward, I would assume a solid holding in the range of overpair, top pair, or weak 2 pair as the most likely range and determine action accordingly to how much equity you have facing those hands.

  • kgun78k

    This is poker so the answer is depends. Generally speaking though, I find a lot of it depends on the flop texture and bet size, especially if the bet is not from the last aggressor preflop.

    If its an uncoordinated board and somebody steals the obvious c-bet, it usually means they have medium/weak holdings. A monster should allow other players to get another card to "catch up". So monsters will check/call in most situations, sometimes they will lead out light (1/3 pot), or even check raising - which if you ask me is bad flop play with a monster on this type of board.

    If it is a draw heavy board and the bet size is 3/4 pot or larger it typically shows strength and they are looking to win the hand now by protecting against draws. Some examples would be flopped set, trips, two pair, or top pair/kicker with AK/AQ holdings played passively pre-flop. As pgearan mentioned, if it is a "donk" bet (out of position, smallish bet) against this type of board its represents a medium strength hand.

    Pay attention for these types of bets against these flop textures to see if you can discern their skill level/play style so you can exploit them. Be careful though as a skilled player will make these types of bets to make other players make to mistakes. Personally, I use the large bet on the coordinated board to steal and I will let players draw one card and "donk bet" when I am very strong. I have found them to be profitable plays when used against the right type of player.

  • nytider

    Just this week I listened to a podcast by Ed Miller, who is one of the pros on this site. It was, I think, on Red Chip Poker. In any event, it was all about categorizing these donk bets. His premise was that they are always intended to be disruptive, and they fall into one of five categories: stabbing, probing, defending, protecting, or inducing. He goes into the clues you can gather from bet sizing and action on future streets, along with tips on how to play against each category.

    Part of what I took away from it was that it gives away a lot of information when you do this, which is the reason you shouldn't do it.

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