When To Keep Your Value Bet In Your Stack

In texas holdem poker, value betting is something that is preached when you get a piece of the flop and think you can make some extra cash off of the hand, but there is a time when you are better off keeping those chips in your stack.  There are certain situations that will arise where you are more than likely sitting on a loser and while your opponent may be weak, they are not weak enough to fold to a value bet.

The first situation is a pretty obvious one that is the most dangerous.  A lot of players will try to get cute here, but caution is the much better play.  This is when the board has 4 cards to a flush or a straight and the betting gets checked around to you and you are not even in the ballpark.  If they have been in the pot the whole time, they were chasing something and you don’t want to put chips in that are nothing more than a donation.

Even if your opponent is on the small end of the straight or has a weak suited carded, the fact that you have been only value betting is going to lead them to believe that they just may be good.  I have seen players call down a value bet and more with as little as a 6 in their hand just because the betting led them to believe that the lead was not suited to the board.  It makes you sick when it happens, but take your lumps and move on.

The next situation that is to be avoided is when the board had double paired.  You may even be sitting on the high pair, but when the lower two are there, check it away and see where you stand.  Hopefully, you will have been in position at this point and will at least get to see a showdown because if you are in early position, you can rest assured that the person sitting on the button is going to fire and you will end up having to release your hand.

There is nothing worse that knowing you were right the whole time and then having someone else walk right into a hand that kills you.  Unfortunately, this is poker and if there is a chance that a hand can hit, it can still hit regardless of what the odds are.  When this happens, keep your chips in your stack and minimize the damage that is done and live to fight another day.

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