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The Utility Underbet

A useful strategic tool

by John Vorhaus |  Published: Sep 04, 2009


A few issues back, I discussed a cool tool called the grandstand overbet, a technique for controlling the flow of a weak-passive no-limit hold’em game by raising big behind fields of limpers. I’m now going to discuss a complementary tool, the utility underbet, which is useful for controlling the size of a pot and giving your draws the right price. As is the case with the grandstand overbet, it’s situationally useful, and a handy trick to have up your poker sleeve. It starts with a gift: an uncharacteristic limpfest in an otherwise aggressive low buy-in no-limit hold’em game that puts you in the big blind in a four-way pot with a free look at the flop. The blinds in this game are $1-$2, and you have about $100 in front of you, as do the other three players. Holding the K 3, you flop the nut-flush draw: A 10 6. ...

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