Thursday, June 26, 2008

Betting Lines

Hoy put up an interesting post (and might have coined the phrase) on "Betting Lines". No, not craps or slots, but in poker. These are patterns on the flop and the turn based on situational betting.

For example:

When I flop a straight and I am OOP, I am going to make a continuation bet if I was the aggressor pre-flop. If my opponent was the aggressor pre-flop, then I am going to check-call, then bet out first on the turn card.

So, the betting line is "check-call the flop, bet the turn". Hoy likes the "check-call the flop, check-raise the turn" line in this situation, but I would be afriad of him checking behind on the turn. I can only make this move if I am sure he is the kind of player that fires 2 bullets.

I like this concept of cataloging betting lines. NOT because I want a pattern to follow, but rather to BASELINE my preferred play. There is an old saying in stand-up. "The better rehearsed your routine, the freer you are to deviate from it." This is because when your material is very well memorized (Seinfeld is said to memorize right down to the specific words used in every sentence), you can depart from it and seque back to it seemlessly. To finish up this line of thinking, If I know how I normally react in this situation, it frees me up to think about the value of deviation in this particular instance!

I am going to dedicate some time to betting lines and come up with some common situational actions. I'll post the ones I come up with. Please feel free to post you own.


OhCaptain said...

I did think this was an interesting concept. Even more interesting then playing the betting lines is spotting them and then learning to exploit them.

If we approach betting lines solely from the perspective of how we play OUR cards, we miss an opportunity to exploit a player that is doing the same.

I'm most successful at poker when I'm playing other peoples cards well. Following betting lines of the opponent is just a great device for remembering their tendencies.

columbo (at eifco dot org) said...

great point. Maybe we can get very advanced and instead of putting opponents on a range, track their betting lines.

I OFTEN fault here because I recognize the pattern, but then expect my opponent to play it 'like I would'. A deadly mistake.