Speculative Hands and Value Bets
What do speculative hands stand for?
The concept of speculative hands is just as intriguing as leveraging and floating, with the latter being lavishly explained at http://www.pokerinusa.net/, for the benefit of all visitors. First of all, a speculative hand is made of cards that don't shine through their intrinsic value but are worth playing because they have the potential of turning into a gem.
Small pairs and suited connectors are unlikely to win pots by themselves, but a favorable flop can either turn such a hand into a monster, or provide plenty of outs to encourage an aggressive approach. Playing a small pair on the flop is not rocket science because if you hit the set you take advantage of the somewhat hidden hand and pursue you with betting. Your opponents will usually assume that you have the lesser hand, because the flop convinces them that they still hold the better cards.
Those who have the guts and intuition to disguise their hand by raising pre-flop, will have an excellent chance on taking down a massive part if they hit the set on the flop. The situation is similar for suited connectors, although in their cases it is not necessarily to make the straight or flush on the flop to stay in the hand. If you have plenty of outs and sense the willingness of your opponent to go all the way regardless of what the turn and river brings, it might be profitable to linger in the hand for a little longer.
Dwell on value bets as much as possible
The only way of winning a hand that is worse that what your opponent has is by betting, because simply calling in his trail is going to lead to an inconvenient showdown. In many cases it is better to simply fold a hand then to call all the way to the river, because by doing so you enable your opponent to control the amounts he invests. One who holds a strong hand will try to extract the most from the remaining players, by finding the perfect balance between protecting their hand and not scaring opponents.
When you are betting in front of other players, you are making a statement and represent a strong hand which gives you fold equity. The opponents will have a hard time trying to determine whether you are protecting your solid hand, or setting up the stage for a flush or straight draw. When picked against the decision of re-raising you or folding their hand many will choose the second option if they don't have enough confidence in their own hand.
As long as you don't abuse betting and turn from a loose aggressive player into a maniac, you can capitalize on the other players’ lack of initiative. By being on top of the game and betting with confidence, you will create an excellent table image that could further consolidate your status of top dog.
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