HocPoker – 6 Max NL Strategy Guide

I want to preface this section by saying that I think the turn is the most misplayed street in all of online 6m, (uNL-MSNL, dunno about HSNL) too often people are only thinking as far as the flop which leads to huge leaks on the turn and river and will often lead to sticky spots and will consistently give away money

That said lets get into the most important element of the turn:

Double Barreling

My preface is specifically designated to talk about how players play the turn OOP, betting the flop and c/fing the turn is suppose to be more of a rarity than a common place. However I see it happen all the time. I hopefully gave enough wisdom about not cbetting KQ on 754 type situations in my flop play section, so hopefully we’re not in such tight spots on the turn. Lets look at when we double

Draws

Double barrel all your draws. Simple right? The only scenario where you do not double barrel your draws is when you decide that

  • ●  You want to punish someone for constantly floating you and betting the turn (your read on this needs to be very strong, also it would help to have a big draw), in which case you may c/r or
  • ●  You have a weak draw and got called in two spots. For instance you have 65s on KQTss, the turn bricks off as a deuce and you were called on the flop in two spots. It’s time to c/f. Also something I should include is when you decided to cbet AKo on Q54ss because your opponent folds to an ungodly amount of cbets and you pickup the a third spade on the turn and you have the As or Ks, thesecount as draws fwiw.

2 Pair or Better

For the most part the b/f line will always be superior to the c/f line on the turn with 2pr+ because its such a strong hand. The situations I’m c/fing are like 87 on 789 (turn is the T that completes the flush). However, if the turn doesn’t complete the flush and its still two tone I’d bet again to protect my hand that still figures to be good a decent portion of the time. Also I want to specify that when you have a big hand don’t try to c/r the turn because it makes your range for betting way too weak and exploitable. When you have a monster just bet/bet/bet and hope to get raised. In the event that you bet and get raised on a card that sucks for you, its time to post a hand.

One pair

You have AA or AQ on QT5hh or rainbow (fwiw it changes when you have AA because he is more likely to have the queen), but you are always betting the turn in this situation for value. People love to call and will love to float flops. Just keep betting to discourage him from floating and make him make a marginal decision with a weaker pair or a draw. The only situation where you c/c the turn is against a TAG type of player that you think will fold to a decent amount of double barrels but will bluff if checked to. In this situation it is ok to c/c the turn but it absolutely cannot be your default as it is very exploitable and like I described earlier, it gives away your hand strength and the initiative OOP, something that is not very fun. Do this rarely until you become very confident it your game, as a default you should always be double barreling the turn with any pair, so for example we have JJ or AT on the same board, for sure bet the turn/ Our opponent could definitely have a worse pair, hearts , or air and we simply cannot check and give up on the hand. Also, since our range is so strong (because we cbet only the top part of our range OOP on the flop) these will be the toughest hands to play on the turn and river, and try not to make a mistake these are a b/f on the turn and a c/f on the river given some read (like that my opponent turns missed draws into bluffs on the river).

In position

OOP I told you to double all draws, which is for the most part true for being in position, but there are a few situations where it is not a good idea. Lets take a look:

You raise OTB with 54dd, the flop is AT3dd. Your opponent who folds to more cbets than most c/c’s the flop (a flop where we are given a lot of respect because of the ace). The turn is a J (or even worse a T) we should:

Check

It is imperative we check here. In order to take your opponent off of his hand you are going to normally need to fire three barrels because he doesn’t want to give up top pair for only two bets. These spots are tricky and high variance, so checking is best. Especially because if we connect and he leads the river we can raise and put him in a tough spot or if he checks we can normally get a pretty sizable bet off on the river that weaker players will typically look up.

Let’s look at the scenario where we have A5 or K9 (any weak TP type hand where you are in a WA/WB situation) and the flop is AT6r or K53r, We raise from LP and get a called from the blinds. The caller is TAGgy and typically never loose passive (against LP’s just keep betting). Theres no history between you two OR there is history of you cbetting Axx or Kxx flops and giving up on the turn. You cbet and he calls. The turn bricks off and he checks it, you should:

Check

There is no history between you guys or you have been giving up a decent amount so when you check you balance your range and disguise your hand, with the plan to get value on later streets. Doubling this spot as an unknown will generally only value town yourself, because there is no history your opponent will probably precede more cautiously and I doubt you get more bets out of him on dryish boards. (boards with more texture need to be double barreled always with TP IP. Your line here is going to be bet/check back the turn/(call or bet the river, depending, if we improve to two pair or trips making a small raise and folding to a 3bet is likely the best line because it looks very bluffy) (also don’t make it too small, you want to make it a size big enough to where you could be bluffing this spot, but small enough to get some calls)

OK! enough checking, lets get into actually betting the turn. Lets look at a common and very important situation:

You raise AK from anywhere (UTG-BTN, not blinds), You get one caller (two callers is far more complex so lets focus on the HU situation.

Flop is AJ7dd, AT5r, A22r, KQ8ss, KJTr.

The only flop here that you stack off on (meaning you make the decision to go with the hand on the flop) is the A22 board (assuming your opponent can rarely/never have a deuce). If you are raised on the other boards its best to just give your hand up without history because you are either flipping/dead in most situations. This brings me to a point that I made in a post regarding a hand that I want to emphasize now.

“If you just fold every marginal situation where you aren’t really sure where you are at in the end you won’t end up losing that much money, in fact if you consistently make incorrect decisions in those situations you will end up losing money. Therefore fold”

This simply means that in every situation where you don’t have a strong read/reason for what you are doing and your opponents range is a somewhat gray area, it is best to give up your hand rather than make marginal decisions. I have found that (and it still happens today) when I make these marginal decisions I am wrong far more often than I am right and it is definitely a big leak in my game and from what I have examined, many other peoples game as well.

Anyway back to the hand, we cbet 6-7bb’s into 8bb’s, he calls. Turn is (going in order) 8d, Jh, Ts, Jd, 5s. Our action? BET! Typically I bet 16bb’s or so in these spots, even if I didn’t pick up a redraw. Now what I need you to understand is that some of these cards suck for our hand, some don’t, and also that you will be betting this turn with a range.

So when you have a set on these boards, you bet again (except for AA on the A22, I think I prefer checking and letting him bluff because its very hard for him to ever have a hand and bet the flop and c/c the turn is a very weak line, which is why we don’t take it here with a marginal top pair) a draw, 2 pair, etc you are betting because your opponent can never be sure what you have, and since the relative strength of your hand will be ahead of your opponents range we are b/fing (bet folding this spot is really just a weighing of options, to which we have three realistic options [b/f, c/c, c/f] whereas [b/c and c/r] are for the most part really big spew and a major leak.

So we look at our three options, c/fing isn’t bad some of the time, its definitely something to mix in against the right opponent or just given something based on timing or the flow of the game. If you just feel like you are beat c/fing is perfectly fine sometimes but definitely not as a default. c/cing is probably the thing I see done the most, which really tilts me because its such a horrible line. By c/cing you basically give up the initiative with a weakish 1pair type hand OOP, and give your opponent a huge piece of information on your hand strength. Don’t get me wrong, once and a while against the right opponent who loves to float this is OK to do on a dryish board, but like c/fing its a flow thing that needs to be mixed in on occasion. Doing it regularly will constantly put you to decisions OOP. Anyway since these options are only things that can be utilized on occasion our default play is to bet and fold to a raise

Another thing I want to emphasize (which is the derivative of the c/c with TP on the turn option that a lot of TAGfish do) is the fear of being raised. When you get raised on the turn it sucks that you have to give up the hand, but it is a great thing for your overall game plan, because your opponent is letting you know exactly where you are at in the hand. Very few opponents you run into are tricky enough to turn this spot into a bluff rasie or semibluff raise, so you can very comfortably fold when you get raised, and be fairly certain that you are happy with your opponent for raising and not getting another bet out of you on the river.

In short, OOP with a made hand that figures to be best most of the time, bet until you get raised (the only time there is an exception to this rule is when your opponent makes a nasty habit of raising you on the turn, but I normally give my opponents a decent amount of credit until I see them develop a real pattern, at which point I plan for adjustments)

Double barrel bluffing Kxx or Axx boards. Don’t do it.

Double barreling Axx or Kxx boards with draws, most marginal draws I just check, any bigger draw (fd+ gutshot, str8draw + pair, fd+pair) I’ll double FWIW these are semi bluffs.

My opponent just floated me on K53r, he is taggy and I think he probably has 66-TT here a lot. What should I do?

Mix it up

Give it to him most of the time, but remember you want to balance your range, so I also want you to show up with air in this situation so when you double the turn he doesn’t know what to do and can thus make an incorrect decision.

In the event that he checks it back, bluff the river (unless you know he checks it back with KQ or something). It’s a situation where he thinks you are bluffing close to 0% of the time so he’ll probably just fold (he interprets this line as you going for pot control). Only do this against TAGs that you know are giving you a hard time and are floating you and trying to capitalize on position.

Just in case you dont get it:
(6 max) – $2/$4 – No Limit Hold’em Seat 1: X ($83)
Seat 2: TAG with little history ($444.30) Seat 3: X ($131.50)
Seat 4: X ($60)
Seat 5: X ($814.90)
Seat 6: Fees ($406)
X posts the small blind of $2
X posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to fees [9h Th]
fees raises to $14
X folds
TAG calls $14
X folds
X folds
X folds
*** FLOP *** [Kh 5c 2d]
Fees bets $24

TAGcalls $24
*** TURN *** [Kh 5c 2d] [Ad] Fees checks
Fees checks
*** RIVER *** [Kh 5c 2d Ad] [2s] Fees bets $60

Another thing you should look to do is barreling scare cards. Let’s say you have any hand except weak made hands (like Jx or 8x, which we try to make it to showdown). Therefore your range is draws, big hands, and air for the following scenario.

You raise the BTN and one of the blinds calls. Flop is J85r, you cbet and he calls (and lets assume hes a weak TAG or donk, not crazy spewy or anything and also not too loose, however let me amend that by saying there are loose donks that will call almost every flop and fold every almost turn to a cbet, so identify these players and group them into the follow type to double). Anyway the turn is any Q, our best line is to:

Bet

QJ and T9 are the only hands that liked that card, pretty much every other hand in your opponents range is not happy about that queen peeling because it adds more texture to the board, its an overcard, and it completes a straight draw. Obviously you have to bet monsters for value, but since this situation yields so much fold equity we definitely need to bluff/semi- bluff this situation. Something I should specify is that if the flop is two tone I probably won’t bet because your opponent could have just picked up a pair+fd, gutshot+fd, etc, however its possible that you know your opponent c/r’s this flop with a flush draw in which case betting again is fine.

The last situation I want to talk about is a pretty basic scenario. You have AK or KQ on AT5 or K94 (rainbow or two tone). You open/isolate from anywhere and he calls. You are IP.

Lets say we isolate, so the pot is 11BB’s, Cbet 8BB’s.

The turn is anything, the pot is now 27BB’s. You should bet/fold 20-23BB’s for value. The only situation where this is not the line you take is if you know: he loves to chase and the draw got there, he folds a lot of turns, and bluffs a lot of rivers, OR you know he often semibluff c/r’s the turn. If this is the case then adjust your play accordingly, otherwise b/f is optimal.

DO NOT CHECK THE TURN BACK FOR POT CONTROL WITH THE LIKELY BEST HOLDING UNLESS YOU HAVE A DAMN GOOD REASON.

Check/raising the turn.

In the games most of you guys play you won’t build up enough history with any opponent to c/r the turn for value because your player pools are so big. What I’m advocating is that we are going to c/r the flop so much to exploit people who cbet so often that you need to balance your range by c/ring your big hands on the flop, which means that not many big hands make it through to the turn. There’s one situation where you c/r the turn for value, so lets get that out of the way first.

You flat TT OOP and the flop is 953 or J32 , two tone or rainbow. You c/c a normal cbet. The turn is a T (you check obviously) and your opponent double barrels (your opponent is only marginally aggressive, but is the type of player to check back QQ on JT32x). Here is a spot you must c/r because your opponents lack of aggression means that he does not value bet thinly enough, thus he is going to check back the river and we don’t want that because we want to stack him. Check/calling the turn and b/cing the river is OK, but its funky and weird so if you are into that. Whatever you do don’t ever c/c the turn and check the river to this type of player, he is going to check it back way too much, however in the event that your opponent is super aggro I would let him bet the river and I would c/r. Obviously this situation changes as stacks increase.

You c/c a medium strength hand like 77 on 956 or AT on JT2, and your opponent double barrels. At this point your opponent figures to have the best hand most of the time and you don’t want to be c/cing weak pairs OOP.

Another thing you know about your opponents range is that it contains some draws like 98 and KQ, and a ton of one pair hands, as well as occasional bluffs. What you conclude is that your opponents range for calling a check raise is slim, so this is a spot to bluff raise the turn (it’s almost a semibluff because you are turning a made hand with like 5-6 outs into a bluff).

This is a great spot to c/r because you can easily fold to further action UI and it puts the pressure on your opponent Most people don’t want to go with a one pair hand in this spot because they view it as very unlikely you;re bluffing because it’s such a fancy play. They also don’t know what hands you could have that c/c the flop and then c/r the turn. Another reason this is a great play because they would never suspect you to turn something like middle pair into a bluff c/r. Anyway let’s say

AT on JT2, you flat a LP open from the blinds and c/c a 6bb cbet.

On the turn the pot is approx. 21BB’s and your opponent bets 12-16BB’s as a double, I would probably c/r to 44-50BB’s, fold to a shove, and check fold the river if it bricks off. I would shove the river if It was an ace or T.

I would also like to add that it helps a ton if the turn is a 9, 8 or 7, as it completes draws/makes 2pair, also that it sucks if it is a king or queen UNLESS you have a note that he double barrels scare cards. FWIW if the turn is a T or ace I would just c/c again unless we had history.

Floating the turn

There are two situations I want to talk about when floating the turn. I think you guys want to float the turn with medium strength pairs and straight draws, (both of which for whatever reason you have deemed best as a float rather than a bluff raise for whatever reason). For example you know your opponent wont fold overpairs on T73r and you have 98, or you know he’ll double Kxx bluffing and you have JJ. In these situations raising lets your opponent play perfectly and thus calling is best.

So let’s say an TAG (20/18 or so, not too loose not too tight) opens from EP, we decide to flat/overflat with QJss. The flop is KT4r and we decide to just call a bet (you need to be calling here for the purpose of balancing, also because you don’t want to get 3bet off your hand, FWIW the first time around with your opponent raising is probably best just because he cbets this ALOT and its hard to continues to a raise)

The turn is the worst best card, the 4s. Nothing about the board has really changed. He’s never going to believe you for a 4, so if we had like A4s with a BDFD on the flop raise the turn to his double. Calling here is just best because even though we have so much equity. He probably won’t fold any king at this point because your line doesn’t really make much sense for anything that beats him. Also, you want to be checking back this river almost always unless you make your straight or your flush because hes probably planning to c/c the river with most pairs, the only scenario I would bet is if:

  • ●  I knew my opponent was hyper aggro and had the capacity to double something like AQ or AJ or even QJ here, in which case I would turn my missed draw into a bluff.
  • ●  I knew my opponent would double barrel Tx or JJ and the river was a queen, this is a situation where a thin value bet is probably best. In either situation I probably bet like 60% of pot.

Now let’s say that we have JJ on QT4 or Q43. We flat an EP open and your opponent decides to double barrel. This is a situation where against some very tight openers, maybe 14% and less you can consider folding unless you have a reason not to. The only card I would never fold to a second barrel against this type of player was the Q, just because it’s such an awful card to double barrel and your opponents that are this tight are probably bad enough to do it sometimes. They are also prone to do it with like 88-TT as well, so calling will remain profitable.

The situation where you are really doing most of your turn floating is against the 20/17 type TAGs or any lag that you know can double barrel air, middle pairs, draws/picked up draws, etc. In this spot since he probably knows your range is weakish pairs maybe like AQ at best he will probably put the pressure on a decent amount of the time, and just because that means his range for betting is wide we need to adapt and widen our calling range, which includes these underpair/middle pair type hands. I should add that you need to flat call something like TT on QTx to your opponents cbet every once and a while just to balance, also to deceive your opponent who probably thinks you would raise the flop with that hand.

Raising the Turn

Raising the turn is a lot of fun because it can typically put TAG’s or donk’s into tough spots. I want to examine two situations that demonstrate how to exploit double barreling.

This situation I am very happy that the overcaller is a fish rather than a TAG because I feel like the PFR is more likely to cbet against one tag and one donk rather than two TAGs because he is more likely to get played back at from us (so if he’s betting more here his overall range is weaker). He bets and I float 99, very standard play. On the turn the ace hits, a great card for him to double barrel, which he does.

I’m aware this is a good card for him to bluff, I’m also aware that his range for betting this card is 33, 55, QQ, AA, AQ, Ax, Qx, KJ, spades, 66-JJ, and a ton of junky air hands

I also know that he is probably cbetting that flop a decent amount of time because

  • ●  It’s dry, and
  • ●  It’s three way so it looks stronger

I would probably think that he cbets this more than he would cbet if it’s a HU situation with me and him because he is going to expect me to float more often in heads up situations. Looking at this range there are some hands that can continue, however most cannot continue to further action. Even with history its tough for him to put it in here without at least top pair. He double barrels the scare card which I expect 100% of his range to bet and I raise him to put him to a decision, basically for the rest of his stack.

(6 max) – $2/$4 – No Limit Hold’em – Seat 1: X ($400)
Seat 2: X ($629.60)
Seat 3: TAG ($454.30) Seat 4: X ($398)
Seat 5: Fees ($418.30)
Seat 6: donk ($412)
donk posts the small blind of $2 X posts the big blind of $4
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to fees [9s 9h]
TAG raises to $14
X folds
Fees calls $14
donk calls $12
X folds
*** FLOP *** [3c 5h Qs]
donk checks
TAG bets $31
Fees calls $31
donk folds

*** TURN *** [3c 5h Qs] [As] TAG bets $76
Fees raises to $185

The second situation is a spot you are going to find yourself in fairly often (its a good spot if you know what you are doing). The villain here is very loose and crazy aggressive after the flop, he just keeps clicking bet pot. In this scenario we decide to just float the flop with our straight draw and overcard and as we expect our opponent bets the turn.

The turn is the best card that doesn’t make our hand because our hand looks like a weak pair on the flop, and also we know that the range of strong hands he can possibly have now has become more narrow.

He pots the turn as we expect and we go for the semibluff raise on the turn, which is something you absolutely must incorporate into your game against these players because the only way to play passively against this type of villain is calling with a made hand. Since all we have is a draw we must utilize other methods to win the pot

We know our opponent isn’t completely batshit insane (i.e getting it in with 55 or AK here) we can profitably raise and call a shove. In the event that he has a queen we still have like 25% equity, so its not a huge deal. Also I should mention against this type of player I think he interprets a turn or river raise as being very very strong, while a flop raise I think he might make a call far more often, which would lead to tricky multi street bluffs which you want to avoid doing against donks without great reason.

(6 max) – $3/$6 – No Limit Hold’em Seat 1: X ($600)
Seat 2: LAGfish ($1,689.90)
Seat 3: Fees ($600)

Seat 4: X ($158.90)
Seat 5: X ($600)
Seat 6: X ($651.30)
LAGfish posts the small blind of $3 Fees posts the big blind of $6

The button is in seat #1 *** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to Fees [Ks Jc]
X folds

X folds X folds X folds

LAGfish raises to $12 Fees calls $6
*** FLOP *** [4d Qc Th] LAGfish bets $24

Fees calls $24
*** TURN *** [4d Qc Th] [Tc] LAGfish bets $72
Fees raises to $244



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Author: Billy Walters