With Texas Hold’em No Limit you can come in way ahead – way behind situations. What kind of situations are these? And how do you play them?
What is Way Ahead and Way Behind?
In the poker world, way ahead – way behind is understood to mean situations in which you are a big favorite with your hand or the opponent holds the much better hand. So you have a good made hand, but no nut hand, overpairs on paired boards, for example, and your opponent has little or no outs to beat your hand. Or you lie far behind with your hand and have very few or no outs against the opponent’s hand.
You are either way ahead or way behind. However, in game situations you cannot always say exactly what position you are in. If you see yourself in front, you bet for value, if you see yourself behind, you fold your bad hand.
How Do You Play in a Way Ahead and Way Behind Situation?
In a way-ahead – way-behind situation, an aggressive style of play with strong bets and raises is of no use, since all worse hands fold for action and the better ones call or raise. In this case, you should switch to a passive check or call line, since you can only draw value from the opponent’s bluffs.
If you have a good made hand on the flop and turn, but know that you are in a way-ahead – way-behind situation, for example, with a paired board and that the opponent on the river is clearly weak by a check out of position, you should still bet for value, for example, to have poorer pairs pay, who no longer bet themselves, but do not want to fold either. Especially on dry flops like JJ-2 Rainbow etc. you will often find yourself in way ahead – way behind situations with your pocket pairs. To control the pot and use its showdown value, there is no better line than a simple call-down.
If you notice that your opponent is in a way ahead – way behind situation, you can exploit this very well through bluff raises, since he will often fold because his hand does not take much action. However, you should never try this at calling stations. Their understanding of the game is too low, so that they only look at their own hand and will therefore call more often than they fold.
In a way-ahead – way-behind situation, protection also makes no sense because you are either an extremely high favorite or an extreme underdog. A better hand will not fold against a raise and a worse hand will fold against a raise. Worse hands may try to bluff you out of the pot. You usually have enough showdown value with your hand in a medium-sized pot.
These arguments speak against a bet or a raise. You only get the worse hands to fold. In addition, the opponent gets the chance to bluff the other players out of his hand through an over-aggressive style of play. A more passive style of play opens up the possibility of doing pot control and inexpensively catching opposing bluffs. Due to the board structure and the possible opposing range, you don’t have to pay attention to protection. You only play strictly on pot control and bluffs.