On our statistics page : pots won, at showdown, and without showdown. My question is: what % do the pro’s shoot for in the “at showdown” number?
The higher, the better, but if you are too high you’re probably folding too much and getting run over by buffers and losing chips that way. It’s not just how often you win hands, it’s the size of the pots you are winning. I have no idea what % a GTO strategy would predict is ideal.
I don’t know the answer with regard to what the pros shoot for, but I aim for a low win% at showdown. To be clear, these figures on the stats page refer to the proportions of wins that you have won before and at showdown. So if your showdown number is 50%, it means that half of your total wins have come at showdown. A high showdown win% means that you are getting opponents to call with weaker hands and likely winning relatively big pots. That is a great situation to be in, but I can’t imagine it to be frequent enough so that aiming for a high showdown win% is a winning proposition since it gives your opponents to see cards on all streets. I prefer to have a high win% before showdown, winning hands pre-flop or on the flop. Of course, winning hands pre-flop or on the flop means that I mostly win relatively smaller pots.
I don’t think there’s a clear answer because it depends on game type and stakes, etc. Mine is 42% showdown and 58% without showdown. I reckon the best players on Replay are in the ~66% without showdown range. el-jogador was super aggro and was ~80% without showdown after winning 5 billion chips.
First, I think those stats reflect percentages since you joined the site, and might not reflect your current style.
Second, the numbers are only meaningful relative to your total win percentages. Game type, stakes, and so on also factor in.
One could play every single hand, and play those hands with a strict check/call strategy and achieve close to 100% “at showdown” win percentages, but that is clearly not a winning strategy. Conversely, one could go allin every hand and see a high “without showdown” percentage, but this isn’t a winning strategy either.
Generally though, too high an “at showdown” rate could mean you are not betting enough or bluffing enough. For example, i would rather bet 5000 with the nuts and get called half the time than bet 500 and get called every time. And when you are bluffing, you obviously want to take less hands to.showdown.
As a tournament player, I only want to showdown the nuts. That’s obviously not possible, but it’s the ideal. I try to extract what I can before the river, and am glad to see river folds with non-nutted hands. I would rather win a smaller pot than lose a bigger one, especially when losing a big pot can end my tournament. My stats say I don’t follow my own advice.
My stats are: pots won 13%, with showdown 56%, without showdown 44%
The more I thought about this, the more it seems like the actual %s are even more meaningless because they reflect the opponents as much as the player themselves. You could go all in every hand and still win 100% at showdown if you get called every time. People here tend to call too much, which probably inflates the % at showdown.
On the other hand, it can be a good metric of how well your bluffs are working. Some aggressive players win 80% at showdown, which indicates that they are betting really big to get all of those folds whether they have a good hand or not. This player is generating a lot of folds, but it is still hard to tell if it is effective because it could also mean they are losing out on as much value with made hands as they are earning with bluffing.
More than 50% with showdown seems like way too much because there are two ways to folds (win without showdown) bet for value and bluff. There is only one way to win with showdown, have the best hand. If you have the best hand more often than you bet and get folds, you are probably not betting big enough with your value hands or bluffs. The exact % beyond that has more to do with other factors (particularly bet sizing).
I don’t bluff, ever. I tried to, once, and once was all it took. To be completely specific, I don’t bet with anything less than a pair. If I shove at showdown, it means I’ve assessed the situation and determined it to be my best option. Every single hand is different. Therefore playing every single hand with the multiple variables in play is a different scenario every single time. I have played only NL Texas Holdem or occasionally, (and recently, for sure) I enter an Omaha Tournament in a promotion or a 7-card variable that’s been introduced here at Replay. I will rarely play ring games and enjoy a sitngo every now and then, more than likely with buy-ins of 50K or less, and all NL Texas Holdem. Since April of 2013 (when there were only about 120,000 members here) I’ve played 843,145 hands folded 76%(638,647) I’ve won 14% (117,928) 84% with showdown, 16% without. I feel like the ranking system based on bank balance is ludicrous, tbh. I wish it could undergo a sensible renovation, but I am at a loss of suggestion for a better way.
I agree that rank is relatively meaningless. It definitely correlates with skill, but there are lot of other variables in the equation. Not sure exactly how to improve the current system either.
Not bluffing ever is a mistake. You can generate a lot of profit by cbetting every single time you raise preflop regardless of whether you hit the flop. Plus, playing against you, I will overfold because you always have it. There are many players here where I can fold AA on the flop when they raise against me because they simply wouldn’t do that unless they are stronger than my hand. Even if you have a few bluffs, it becomes a lot harder to overfold when you do bet for value.
I haven’t been playing much the last dew months, but when i do play, it’s usually in the Poker Amusement league. This league is a lot of fun, but has a “no muck” rule. You have to show the winning hand.
These games are 5k buyin MTT format. Playing against the same people over and over, especially when you have to show, has definitely changed my approach to those games, and my stats show that.
Since the “at showdown” and “without showdown” stats always add to 100%, they don’t tell you much. You could, for example, play 1,000 hands, lose 999 of them, and if your 1 win was at showdown, that stat will be 100% at showdown. It doesn’t mean you win all your showdowns.
I didn’t say I always have it, and also my goal is to win pots, regardless of size, and Greed(“you can generate a lot of profit”) never comes into play. Not bluffing ever hasn’t screwed me over yet, so maybe it is a mistake in your game , but I assure you, I don’t need>want>have to incorporate, what comes down to lying, in my game to improve it, so I’ll just take your chips when you fold, but thanks for sharing, Joseph. You do you, just fine, Brother. Saul Good-Dude. Peace.
All right, whatever works for you. I think it’s quite harsh to call it lying or greed. It’s part of the game. You are also lying by not showing your cards. Do football teams shout out “we are going to run the ball”? No, they run play-action fakes. Plus it’s play chips, definitely not greed… Next time you play chess, your queen only moves directly forward, see how that goes. You are giving yourself a huge handicap.
I will forward the emails replay sends me for cashes and high finishes. If you think my game can get better by bluffing, prove it. Prove it is a handicap in my game, since my proof is readily available. My finishes in MTT play speak for themselves. Your claim cannot be substantiated, where as mine is here, should you need proof. Thanks Brother, but you Sir, are Incorrect. Peace.
If you are playing for enjoyment and consider bluffing to be wrong, then bluffing will not improve your game. Doing something that will make you feel bad doesn’t add to enjoyment.
It’s also not as simple as bluffing or not bluffing. Trying to bluff without understanding who, how, where, and why to bluff can be counter-productive. Bluffing poorly is throwing your chips away.
I never bluff, but I do occasionally mis-click, which looks like a bluff. I also lie… a lot.
By definition, someone who claims to never need to bluff to win, always requires a made hand to bet post-flop. Since having a made hand on the flop is rare, I would assume that such a player would often engage in passive post-flop play, handing their opponents free chances to beat them. In addition, any bet the player makes would signal having a made hand, and generate automatic folds by anybody paying attention. Maybe this strategy is good at low-stakes tournaments, I don’t know. But I know it would be a losing strategy against any competent player. What is the plan for winning with a “no bluff” strategy? Hope to always have a made hand? What percentage of hands can you reasonably expect to open with and consistently win without bluffing?
I withdrew my post because other people are free to make their own choices. But I mostly took issue with the idea that bluffing is “lying” or “greedy”. Poker is a game, and betting whenever and whatever you want is part of what makes no limit hold em a great game.
Whether someone needs to bluff to be successful on Replay is not really a question worth debating.
Saying “I don’t bluff” as a blanket statement is intentionally taking away part of the game from yourself, which is obviously a choice each person makes. However, against good (with good being a relative and subjective term) opponents, you CANNOT win in the long run without bluffing. I don’t want to open up a debate on who is “good”, but merely draw the parallel of winning in sports with one leg or arm tied behind your back.
Edit: And for the sake of clarity, “bluffing” can mean a lot of things. C-betting with a combo draw can be “bluffing” even if you have the most equity, just as betting the river with nothing is bluffing. You really never ever bet unless you think your hand is best? I genuinely find that hard to fathom.
Imagine you are playing against me. I have A7 on the river with a QT752 board with no flush possibility. You bet half pot. If you NEVER bluff, would you bet a worse hand than mine on this river? Almost certainly you would only bet with a ten or better, so I can easily fold.
If you could be bluffing, now I have to consider calling, which means sometimes I will make a mistake and call to see your ten or queen or better. Or maybe I will fold and you will have had nothing. That gives you two additional ways to win and creates a lot of uncertainty for your opponents. It’s hard to argue that NOT doing this is somehow equal or advantage over doing it.
To be clear, I think bluffing is an integral and important part of the game.
I also think that people who aren’t comfortable bluffing (for whatever reason) probably shouldn’t bluff. It depends on how you define bluffing, but also on how you define enjoyment. If your goal is to amass ever greater piles of free chips you will never need, then bluffing is important. If your goal is to have fun and you don’t think bluffing is fun, then don’t bluff.
I enjoy bluffing, so it’s part of my game. I also enjoy stealing candy from babies and dumping buckets of water on sleeping cats. I play poker to nurture my inner sociopath, so bluffing is good for me.
To me, diversity in play styles is part of what makes the game interesting. Play the way you like to play. No one style is right and all the others wrong.
The words " paying attention" and this thread are linked, but obviously not adhered to, since I have said what I have and people seem to want to put their own spin on them rather than take them at face value. No hand is ever the same. Ever. So, I don’t play the same hand the same way, ever. I never said I only play made hands. When someone can occupy my brain and my shoes and know what motivates my play, you let me know. Until then, pure speculation is only that. So, speculate away, you speculating speculators.
Here is a person who gets it, thank you SPG. I tried it once and it doesn’t fit cohesively into my mindset in life, in general, not to mention poker. Betting or calling or shoving without even a pair is about as insane a notion as I can think of in NL Holdem, and that’s all I have to add to this thread, danke schoen. Auf Weidersehn, Bon Jour, Adios, Hasta La Vista. Peace.
Let’s get one thing straight, this is a friendly and fair discussion, and I am not trying to put down your style of play, which is why I referred to a “player” in my original replay and not specifically to you. Also, how you play is entirely your business and I have no idea how you play, since I have never seen you at the tables.
What I meant was this: a player (this could be anybody) who claims to never bluff, needs to have a made hand to bet on the flop. Without a made hand, any bet is, by definition, a semi-bluff or bluff. I also quite clearly stated that checking on missed flops could be a good strategy – this depends on the situation. This is why I said “I don’t” know if not bluffing is a good strategy. If not bluffing on missed flops consistently works for you, then you are doing something right. The point of my original reply was that this strategy does not work for me against the competition I play against. That is all.
I believe @moeron is referring to me. Apparently I misconstrued his statements that bluffing is “greed” and “what comes down to lying”. My statement that “You can generate a lot of profit” is not referring to money; it is referring to winning at poker, which is relevant to poker strategy/discussion.
I definitely agree @SunPowerGuru that a variety of playing styles is what makes poker great. And I definitely agree that bluffing isn’t necessary to win on Replay and that bluffing poorly can be much more expensive than not bluffing at all.
The only things I do not agree with is that bluffing is “greed” or “lying”, because it is simply playing a game according to its rules, not cheating or angle shooting. I also definitely do not agree that poker can be played well without bluffing. You can get away with it in low level games, but it is not even a question to debate whether being able to successfully bluff is an advantage over not ever bluffing.
It is wise to recognize one’s limitations as a poker player, but to say that a key part of the game is unnecessary or somehow morally wrong is just too much.
Edit: for the sake of the original thread topic and poker strategy more broadly. Betting and calling without a pair is a major advantage in poker. If you only call/raise with a pair or better, then you are losing a lot of value. You will only flop a pair or better about 1/3 of the time. So, if your opponent bets half pot on the flop 100% of the time, you will fold 2/3 of the time. It will be an automatic profit for them to bet because you will fold too much. You can use float plays (calling with nothing, especially in position, and then trying to steal the pot on the turn/river) or raises/check-raises to put the pressure back on your opponent so you don’t always have to have the best hand to win.
Being sticky and/or aggressive requires a lot of awareness to do successfully, but they are key to improving as a poker player (and increasing your win without showdown percentage). It creates uncertainty for opponents, makes them less likely to test you, and can put them under pressure. Otherwise you are counting on luck to give you the best hand in order to win pots (as @AKFolds pointed out), which is not going to be a winning strategy versus players who can adjust. One on one, each player should win 50% of the time by chance, so adding layers to your game gives you more chances to win compared to needing a pair or better to call/bet.