Inside PokerSnowie's brain reveals the work of the Snowie AI Team. It explores first hand how the brain of PokerSnowie evolves and learns advanced strategic concepts, on its own.

PokerSnowie's ultimate aim is to produce the perfectly balanced game, find the ultimate un-exploitable equilibrium for all No Limit Hold'em configurations. Join us on this fascinating journey, which is just starting, into the future of poker.

The PokerSnowie Video Quiz series aims to answer the question: "what is the right play?" It is a set of poker coaching videos presented by French professional poker player Sharp. In each video, Sharp sets up an interesting hand in the "Scenarios" tool of PokerSnowie and explains how to analyse the situation and learn from PokerSnowie's advice, based on the Game Theory Optimal model.

Polarizing and over-betting the turn

In the last article we looked at how PokerSnowie can help us decide when to bet small and when to bet big. In this one we will dig a bit deeper and look at over-bets.
Over-betting isn’t a new strategy in No Limit Hold’em. Prahlad Friedman, arguably the first online poker star, who crushed the high stakes cash games ten years ago, was well known to implement this strategy. And the rise of Viktor Blum aka Isildur made the move popular. 
Nowadays it is rather common to see regulars over-betting the river. But over-bets on previous streets are only seen in very high stakes cash games and heads up matches. This article will go through a deep hand analysis with PokerSnowie to understand when it is correct to over-bet.
We have the following situation: 
Hero is under the gun with 6 players around the table. The blinds are $1 and $2, and the effective stack is 100BB.
Hero opens to $7 with JdTd. His range includes {AA-66,AK-AT,KQ-KJ,A9s-A3s,KTs-K9s,QJs-Q9s,JT-J9s, T9s}.
Villain defends with a call from the big blind.
Flop comes rainbow Kc 9d 4h; the pot is now $15
The texture is rather dry and good for the under the gun range. Cbetting with all the opening range used to be a no brainer. It is certainly profitable but far from optimal. PokerSnowie prefers to polarize its betting range and to check back 30% of the time. 
What are the benefits of such a strategy?
1- For the checking range
PokerSnowie checks back with all the hands which have value at show down but are not strong enough to get multiple streets of value, if any; namely:
  • Top pair and weak kicker : 86% with KT and 20% with KJ
  • A pair below KK : QQ-TT and 88-66
  • Second pair or bottom pair with a backdoor flush draw: for example Th9h or Ac4c. Those hands can turn two pairs or a pair and a flush draw. 
  • Best Ace high : AQ and AJ
Not Cbetting with medium strength hands is keeping villain’s range wide. Those hands have chances at show down if the pot is checked down. If not, most of them are strong enough or can improve on the turn to bluff catch on one or two streets when villain is betting. 
2 - For the betting range
If hero Cbets with all his opening range, villain can profitably check raise for value with top pair, and therefore can bluff raise with a wider range. PokerSnowie’s Cbetting range is much stronger and well prepared to face a raise.
In the actual hand hero has only Jack high. Despite having a back door flush and a gut shot, the hand has no show down value and should be bet as a bluff. 
There is no need to bet big at that point. Both ranges are pretty wide and in position hero would bet at a high frequency, 70% in that spot. He wants some action when he bets for value and to minimize the cost of his bluffs.
As we have seen in the last article he should bet for half pot.
Hero bets $7.5 and BB calls.
Turn As, pot is $30
An ace is known to be a good card for a barrel. And indeed, it is unlikely that villain called the Cbet with ace high. The standard play would be to double barrel with a sizing between half pot and pot. But that is not PokerSnowie’s strategy. Here it is betting for twice the pot!
PokerSnowie keeps on polarizing its betting range and invites the big blind to play for his entire stack. In game theory this is the optimal strategy when the aggressor bets a polarized range and the caller’s range is capped. This is clearly the situation here. Villain cannot have the nuts. The best hand in his range is a set of 9, his most likely hand is a pair. 
Over betting generates multiple rewards: 
  • It puts maximum pressure if villain had flopped top pair. 
  • There is a leverage effect. Villain can no more float light on the flop if he knows he won’t be able to go beyond the turn. 
  • With the top of his range, hero can play for stack in a single raised pot. 
The main drawback of this strategy is that hero is no more able to double barrel for thin value. It is not a big deal when we bluffed the flop with Ace high and catch top pair bad kicker. Checking back reinforces our bluff catching range on the river and we will still be able to get a second street of value if villain checks again.
On this turn, PokerSnowie would not bet AK and double barrel for value only with a set. But good two pairs should be strong enough against stubborn or suspicious opponents. PokerSnowie’s bluffing range is including the combos of queen high and jack high which have no chance at showdown but can stack the enemy when they hit their gut shot.
There are many situations in which PokerSnowie over-bets the turn when double barreling. From all I learned with PokerSnowie, this was the most outstanding. But the strategy is correct in theory and I am sure it would be a terrific weapon to include in your arsenal at any stake.

Inside PokerSnowie's brain

PokerSnowie's ultimate aim is to find the ultimate un-exploitable equilibrium for all No Limit Hold'em configurations. Join us on this fascinating journey, which is just starting, into the future of poker.