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Betting strength analysis, the newest feature of PokerSnowie
Recently a new version of PokerSnowie was released. Not only the name and the logo have changed but now PokerSnowie is ranking hand strength in a different way. In its previous versions, PokerSnowie was assessing a bet to be a bluff, or for value. If it was correct mathematically, it was sometimes confusing.
Here’s an example of how the new hand strength ranking works. Hero defended from the Small Blind with AQo. He flopped top pair top kicker and decided to lead into the field and PokerSnowie disagrees.
In the Hand Strength, PokerSnowie evaluates how this hand is doing against other villain ranges.
The strength of a hand is on a scale from 0 (the nut low) to 2 (the nuts).
In this situation PokerSnowie gives 0.93 to the hand. It means that if villains are on the same ranges played by PokerSnowie pre flop, top pair top kicker is a slight underdog on that flop.
Therefore, in the previous versions, PokerSnowie would have labeled the bet an incorrect bluff. It is now a wrong bet with a medium strength hand. The software doesn’t change its evaluation but the new labels are less confusing, since no one would call a bet a bluff in that situation.
How are the new categories defined?
Between 0 and 0.6 a hand is weak. Those hands have very little chance to win at showdown. We should bluff or give up with those hands.
Between 0.6 and 1 a hand is medium. It is often wrong to bet with those hands but with the pot odds they are often strong enough to bluff catch. This is especially true against villains who are betting too often or with an unbalanced range.
Between 1 and 2 the hand is a favorite and labeled strong. Be careful, having a strong hand does not mean betting is the best line.
Don’t turn a hand into a bluff
Let’s consider another example where the flop is less connected and hero’s equity has improved. In this situation according to PokerSnowie, betting is even a bigger mistake.
Against other pre flop ranges, AQ is now a strong favorite at showdown. On the right PokerSnowie simulates how the hand would do against the ranges that would give action if hero bets.
The hand would not be a favorite anymore. This is a perfect example when not to turn a strong hand into a bluff.
Slow play your monsters
Hero has now flopped the joint, but betting is still the wrong option. With a queen in the hand and two on the board he has the board crippled. Hero is very unlikely to get action on multiple streets. Of course betting will win money, on average 12.89 BB while the initial pot is 12 BB. But according to PokerSnowie simulations there is more money to be made by checking.
Since PokerSnowie would not play 22 pre flop in any of villain positions, hero has the nuts and the hand is ranked 2.00. When hero bets, the combos of AQ are a big part of a villain calling range and therefore hero’s equity drops.
The filters also changed accordingly
Since the evaluations are remaining the same the new ranking is helpful for categorizing our errors when we are reviewing sessions. Both actions are minus EV, but it is not the same kind of mistake to bet with AJ or with 65 of spades on that flop.
How to improve our game?
The three groups are useful to more accurately understand our errors. When does PokerSnowie check to slow play, to induce, to bluff catch or to give up? On which texture shall we bluff and value bet often? On which ones should we give up with the bottom of our range and check with our strong hands?
By using the betting strength analysis when reviewing our errors, we will improve in polarizing and balancing better our betting ranges post flop.