Sometimes you can fool a decent player with the most basic play that seems more complex than it really is.
By now you might have heard of the Over Bet For Value. In blog speak, we label it OBFV.
I'm here to give you an example of why it works.
I have a full stack and I'm playing .25/.50 No-Limit Holdem on Full Tilt. I'm in first position, Under The Gun, with - .
Sometimes I'll fold this hand in early position. If I were telling you how to play this hand, I'd tell you to fold. But nothing in poker is absolute, and this table's tight and passive, so I'm willing to limp in and see what the flop brings.
So I call the .50. Two players call, two more fold, we get another caller, yet another caller, the small blind folds (?) and the Big Blind checks. There are five players seeing a flop.
The flop comes - - . Well, I like this flop. The Big Blind checks, and I'm next to act. I'm not thrilled at betting into three other players when I'm so far out of position, but I am going to bet here. I've probably got the best hand, given the pre-flop action, and I want to drive at least a couple players out before the turn.
So I bet $1.45, about half the pot. The player behind me calls, but everyone else folds. I'm putting my lone opponent on a weak Ace.
The comes on the turn. I don't feel a great need to protect my hand here, plus I am out of position and want to control the pot, so I check. I plan to call any bet here, as I still think I'm ahead. But my opponent checks. Maybe he has a Queen or King or a draw. I'll have to be careful on the river if a diamond comes.
A falls on the river, and suddenly I've got the nuts. What a lucky card.
This seems to me to be a perfect time to try an Over Bet For Value. Why? Well, it's a crazy move that just might work.
A value bet of $3 or so here doesn't really seem to be a great play. He might just have a 10, too, and if that's the case, we're splitting the pot. So he'll call with a 10. I'm not really worried about any other card.
But maybe if I bet something crazy, he might fall into second-level thinking and believe I'm trying to steal the pot. It's a small pot, so that thinking is flawed, but there's another reason why the OBVF works so well.
In this aggressive age, people are terrified of being bluffed off the best hand. It happens a lot, and people are tired of getting pushed around. I have to admit I've fallen into that trap a couple times myself.
And when you're thinking that way, it doesn't matter what's in the pot. Ego gets in the way. “Why, he's trying to steal the pot! How dare he!”
If I had a 10, would I REALLY bet such a huge amount? Wouldn't I want to get paid? Well, sure, that's what I hope he's thinking.
So I shove my $47.85 into the pot. It's a crazy, strange, weird bet, and when my opponent starts to pause, I think he might want to look me up. He must be thinking I don't have a 10. A 10 would be strange here, no doubt, as I've hit an inside straight draw on the river. Would I really bet with just a 10 on the flop?
He calls for his last $36.25, and he turns over... - . Ha. That's a pretty nice pot!
He hit his two pair on the river and figured it might be good because I bet such a crazy amount. I'm not sure what he put me on, maybe just an Ace, but it was probably hard to put me on a 10.
My strange bet ensured that it was.