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How can be avoided the loss of a hand on river?


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I'm a "specialist" of loosing good hands on river, so I ask you how can I avoid that.

I am on a table with a guy/girl that hold 2 harts/clubs what ever, the flop has one or two heart, but reveals two pairs or 3 of a kind, and I raise de initial bet, I got usually called. The turn is in my favor also and I raise again, but he/she call again. And by poker gods miricle, the river came with the card that she/he wanted.

This applies also to straight, usully with the middle card like I have AK she/he has 78 the flop is 95A, the turn is whatever and the river is 6?!

So my questions are:

1. How can be avoided the river loss when the opponent call?

2. How can be a caller make to not call, if he/she missed on or two cards?

Thank you in advance for advices. :d

ps: Most of the bets are all in pre-flop or after the flop.

PS2: I'm sorry for the long post.


To err is human, forgive is canine!
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1)You can't avoid a river loss when opponent calls all in before river, and hits a better hand than you on river. The important thing to realise is this only happens sometimes. Sometimes you win. In the long run if you have the best hand before river, made or otherwise, you will win. But the long run in poker, can be very long.

2)you want your opponents to call with inferior hands, this is how you make money. But you have to make sure you're not pricing them in to call, which means you have to bet big enough to give them the wrong pot odds to call. If they bet 2/3 on flop, a raise of 3x their bet is usually a good size. If you are betting first on flop, about 2/3 pot size is also a good default.

Also realise the times you get lucky. AA vs JT aipf is 80% favorite. If you win the pot you got 20% lucky.

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This is only a gut feeling but i think Unibet poker it is more likely to lose on river than other softwares. Only play freerolls basically anymore and shove at those pretty hard. Had many wins and losses at river, usually underdog wins, would say 6-8/10. But i don´t mind, it is just funny :) 

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@SkilfulPoker: Thanks, I'm watching those clips. But somehow, I guess with high bets can make others fold? Or should I stick with minimum raise or just check until the river gave me the higher hand?

@Livertool: Today in a freeroll NLH at 9.00 AM, you went all in in first hand, I called you with AQ diamond. Then the game informed that I lost :). What hand did you had and what were the flop, turn and river cards, 'cause I didn't pay atention then?

I just can't play only freerolls. My goal for me is to step from freerolls and 1 & 2 euro to 4 & 10 euro SNG and MTT. If I could dump my curent job and won enough money from poker I'll do it :). But it takes time. And money. And patience. And many many hands played. :)

Beware, I'm learning outs & odds :P.


To err is human, forgive is canine!
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Oh it was you :D I don´t remember exactly but 10 on the river saved me, just what this thread is about :)

My advice would be, save your time and money and just play for fun of it. I know quite a many people who wanted to be able to quit their job and just play poker and none of them made it. And when we started the skill level of players wasn´t nearly as good as it is today and number of players was lot bigger so it was easier to succeed those days.

But with that being said, if you are going with it, wish you good luck and hope you will make it :)

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@fkingun wrote:

@SkilfulPoker: Thanks, I'm watching those clips. But somehow, I guess with high bets can make others fold? Or should I stick with minimum raise or just check until the river gave me the higher hand? 

@fkingunA minimum raise is hardly ever a good idea, very rarely it can be OK if you have a read your opponent spaz's out to minraises, or if you have the board completely locked on the turn for instance, and you don't think your opponent has much. But if you never min re-raised in your life, you would be doing a lot better than min-raising in the wrong place. The reason a minraise is so bad, is unless you are on the river it virtually prices any draw in to call you most of the time. If you are on the river it's also bad, because any halfway competent player with a reasonable hand is likely never to fold to a minraise, which means you get no worse hands to fold, if you have a mediocre hand or trash yourself. If you have a very strong hand, then you should be betting for value. For these reasons you could forget the minraise completely and not really do any damange to your game. 

If you bet massive yes you will get others to fold. So the art of bet sizing, is betting an amount high enough that your opponents make a mistake when they call you (because they do not have the correct odds), but low enough that they still do call you, and you make money from them chasing their draws without the correct odds, or calling you down with an inferior hand. 

You mention about just checking to the river until you get a higher hand. If you have AK for instance and have missed the flop, depending on the texture of the flop you can C-Bet, (continuation bet). You have raised AK PF, and can continue to represent a strong hand. Let's say the flop is Q72 ; this is what is known as a very dry flop. It's very hard for your opponent to have connected with it, so even though you just have Ace High, if you bet, he/she will likely fold, because they haven't connected with it. Unless they try to make a move, which seldom happens at the micro stakes. In this case you actually have a strong hand, you have two overcards, and the best ace high hand possible, if you bet and get called you might even still have the best hand. That board was an extreme. Another extreme, is a board like, 7s8s5c this is not a good board to C-bet with your ace high hand, because it hits your opponents calling range a lot harder than it hits your raising range pf. When you think about the hands they are calling with pre-flop many hit this type of board, 67, 54s, 9t, 77, 88, 55, 66,44 etc. This is another extreme, and is called a 'wet' board. There are of course many boards in between, but I guess you get the idea. With nothing it can often be good to bet if you can continue to represent the best hand, and you figure your opponent is not in a position to call you. 

In terms of the cases where you have the best made hand, your idea about checking down or betting small is even worse. Here's an example. 

Let's say you have AKo and raise PF, on the button. The BB calls, and you see a flop. 

Here's the situation: IMG_20170725_155620.thumb.jpg.1eaa0bf3d3c31a918c7f36e9eb5a82b8.jpg


So you have Top pair , top kicker, and your opponent has middle pair, and some backdoor straight and flush draw possibilities. 

Right now you have 75% equity. Which means if this hand was played an infinite number of times you would expect to win the hand 75% of the time. 


So let's say you go for the bet small, or check strategy, either way your opponent is not going to fold, as they have a pair and some drawing possibilities and you haven't bet enough to get them to fold. So you see a turn. 


But look what has happened, not only has a scare card to your AK came out, this board hits quite a few two pair combos, the opponent has also improved their hand even though they haven't actually made a better hand yet. They have picked up more outs. Now you are only going to win the pot 63% of the time.


You have allowed them to catch up a bit. You still have the best hand, but your chances of winning the hand are not as good any more. 

So you look at this increasingly scary looking board, and you continue with your bet small or check strategy until the river, and the river card is dealt: IMG_20170725_155709.thumb.jpg.c0bd1eb6ea2c350e903670990fb619cc.jpg


Well now you lose the hand 100% of the time unless your opponent folds, and given your weak betting all this time, that's unlikely to happen. You had what started out as a very good hand, and hit TPTK, but you let your opponent catch up with you. What's worse , you have no idea where you stand in this hand, because you haven't defined the range of your opponents holdings with your betting on earlier streets. He could have anything, a busted flush draw, that he called with on the turn? A jack? A full house? Trips... A busted straight draw... you have no idea. 

Lets say you bet 2/3 pot instead on the flop and the pot was 1k, and you bet 750 chips. 

The pot is 1750 when it gets to your opponent and he has to call 750 chips which means he's getting 2.3:1 pot odds.

(He will win 2.3 x the 750 he is risking if he calls and wins the hand. )

If he calls he has made a mistake he is only going to win the pot 25% of the time, assuming he doesn't have some plan for later streets to blow you off the pot. 

So he/she either folds, in which case you win the pot (a good result, as you were only going to win the pot 75% of the time if it went to a river). 

Or he/she calls and you profit from their mistake (even better). 

You have taken away the opportunity for him/her to check or call a small bet given the correct odds to draw, both very bad outcomes for you, as your hand is strong but somewhat vulnerable and you don't want the opponent to catch up. 

So for these reasons it's better to bet a decent size, and forget your idea about betting small or checking down, whenever you have a reasonable hand. The only exception to this is if you have overcards, and ace high (or king high sometimes) and the board is low, now you don't have a made hand but have some showdown equity, so checking it down is likely the best way to go. 

Hope that makes some sense and helps a bit 👍



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