Donk Betting — Is It Ever Correct?
The term “donk bet” actually came to be recently, becoming popular only in the last decade or so.
At first, it was used to describe a strategically lousy play in the most derogatory way.
In modern poker, it’s used to describe a specific type of post-flop bet.
Donk betting should be an essential part of your strategy. It refers to the post-flop bet that occurs when you are out of position against a pre-flop raiser. For example, one player raises before the flop, and the other defends the big blind with a call. Then, in the post-flop, the player in the big blinds leads out with a donk bet.
In this post, we’ll be making arguments for and against donk betting, and we’ll show you how to use it as an exploratory strategy against passive players.
Why You Shouldn’t Donk Bet
The primary reason why donk bet is considered a bad play is that they are complicated to balance. In other words, someone can easily catch up to your strategy, and they will eventually come up with a counter-move. A balanced range of betting would consist of a mix of strong hands, draws, weak hands, and bluffs.
The idea behind the balanced range is that your opponent cannot read your hand when you take a particular action, and with donk betting, that just isn’t possible. An example of donk betting would be a range that consists of 15% bluffs and 85% sets. Any mid-skilled opponent would know that they should fold most hands because you have a set 85% of the time.
On the other hand, if your donk bets consist of 80% weak hands and 20% sets, your opponent will bully you with his top pair most of the time. As you can see, donk bets represent a weak hand. However, this depends on bet-size.
Players sometimes use donk bets to determine where they are in a hand. For example, if you have a weak hand and you donk bet, you might do this hoping that you’ll scare the opponent who’s missed the flop. If they raise, they probably have a strong hand, and if not, then there is a slight chance that they are bluffing as well. The problem is that if you do this often, the opponent may read into it and raise your bet with any two hands.
When You Should Donk Bet
Although it may be challenging to balance your range when donk betting, it’s highly unlikely that a passive opponent will take advantage of this. Even if they’re using some sort of statistics tool like HUD, they’re not the type of player to analyse their opponent’s ranges. Also, they might not be aware that the donk bet is a weak lead. Even if they are, they probably won’t raise this bet with a weak hand or a bluff. This is why passive players are easy to bully — they don’t make aggressive hands unless they have premium hands.
The question now arises — if a passive player knows what a donk bet is and realises that you’re using it, what are they going to do about it? Usually, this type of player will merely fold if they miss the flop entirely. Some of them might call. However, if they’re just peeling with air, they will let you get to the showdown more often than not.
In 90% of the time, donk betting is exploitable. However, if the opponent is too passive and doesn’t take advantage of it, the pros outweigh the cons. This is similar logic to when a loose-aggressive player 3-bets and squeezes relentlessly from the blinds and the button. Excessive 3-betting is also exploitable. However, if everyone is falling for his bluffs, he’s going to keep doing it.
Donk betting was coined after a donkey because someone thought that it was a stupid play. But as we have shown you in this article, it can be useful in certain situations. Donk betting is a complex area of poker strategy because it’s challenging to balance the range across multiple lines. Therefore, beginners should simply consider it a possible option and try for themselves at one of new online poker sites which we have reviewed.
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