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The obvious way to quantify future betting is to put a number on it, and see how varying that number changes the decision. When you are the preflop aggressor, there are three possible flops, ones you hit, ones it’s likely no one hit and ones you miss that have danger cards.

There are various plausible strategies that you want to compare. Say you want to consider c-betting half the pot in the first two cases, and c-betting half the pot half the time in the last one. For each of these cases, there’s a chance the other players will reraise, call or fold. Suppose you reraise a reraise if you hit the flop, and fold otherwise.

Let P be the pre-flop pot and all profits are stated relative to your stack just before the flop is dealt. Now you’ve got seven possible scenarios:

Hit flop – C-bet – players fold – Win P

Hit flop – C-bet – players call – Expected win 0.5P

Hit flop – C-bet – multiple raises – Expected win 0.25P

Miss flop – C-bet – players fold – Win P

Miss flop – C-bet – players call – Expected win -0.25P

Miss flop – C-bet – players reraise – Win -0.5P

Miss flop – don’t C-bet – Expected win 0.5P

In three of them you know your outcome, in the other four you have to guess (I stuck in some sample values). You can compute the probability of hitting or not hitting the flop, and making a c-bet or not; the other players’ reactions and your expected win in the four cases in which play continues have to be estimated either by analysis or sampling.

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