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Head Games: Thin Value. What is it? How can I get it? How do I combat it?

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: May 16, 2012


Craig Tapscott: Explain the concept of thin value? Give an example if you wish.

Brandon Adams: Thin value refers to the idea of betting or raising for value with a hand that traditionally would be thought too weak for value extraction in a given spot. For example, suppose you are heads up and have J-T offsuit in position and the flop comes K-T-9 rainbow. You bet the flop and your opponent calls. The turn is a 6 and goes check-check. The river is an ace and your opponent checks. The standard play here would be for you to check. You have a valuable hand – one that is far too good to turn into a bluff. But betting is bad because you probably don’t have the best hand, conditional on being called, and you open up the possibility of a check-raise bluff. Since standard play dictates that one must check in this spot, a bet for value would be considered an attempt at extracting thin value.

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