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Is Donk Betting a bad play?

Is Donk Betting a bad play? - Fri Jan 03, 2014, 08:24 AM
ggervacio's Avatar
Since: Dec 2011
Posts: 341
I just find out (from this video) that I've been donk betting quite a few times during my SNG or MTT sessions. My question is, is it generally a bad play (I assume it is a bad play because of the name)? are there any cases where donk betting should be used?

Last edited by ggervacio; Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:31 AM..
Fri Jan 03, 2014, 11:33 AM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,809
Hi ggervacio!

It can be a very useful play too under the right circumstances. I'll use it when OOP to get the lead in the hand away from an opp or to take down the pot on the flop.. especially against an opp that is playing very wide. If I lead into them and they have nothing (remember they'll only hit the flop 1/3 of the time) then they're going to be giving up the pot, or floating and leaking off chips to me.

I actually was talking to Dave about this a couple months ago and I ran a report on myself in PT4 where I called a raise pre, then donkbet into the opp on the flop. I just ran the report again. Over 719 hands where I've done this, I'm up over 233k tourney chips!

I've also done the same thing playing rings and am up a big number of bb/100 there too (but that's only a very small quantity of hands compared to my tourney numbers).

John (JWK24)


6 Time Bracelet Winner

Fri Jan 03, 2014, 12:01 PM
TweedleBeetl's Avatar
Since: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,146
For what my opinion is worth:

As a rule donk-betting is not very solid but may have uses in particular spots.

Scenario: you hit the flop well. If you donk-bet the original raiser will often just fold, but if you check that he will often make a CB that you can check-raise. This is specially true if villain has high CB stats.

Most often I see people donk bet if they hit the flop weakly and want to see if they can take the pot right there but are ready to give it up if they meet resistance. Sometimes you can recognize this by the betsize.
Fri Jan 03, 2014, 05:08 PM
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,346
Originally Posted by ggervacio View Post
My question is, is it generally a bad play (I assume it is a bad play because of the name)? are there any cases where donk betting should be used?
Donkbetting isn't necessarily or generally "bad", as such, although bad players tend to make donkbets with inappropriate hands and with inappropriate betsizes.
Donking effectively is a situational thing, and there are definitely spots where leading into the pre-flop raiser has a better expectation than checking.

With any post-flop line you take, you should be trying to maximise your EV, and to do that, you have to think about what a bet, check, or raise will achieve. What is the purpose of your bet?
Often when you donkbet, you have one of two aims:
* You want a villain to fold (because you have a weak hand/draw), or
* You want a villain to raise, because you have a monster hand/draw, with which you want to play for stacks.

I don't donk very often (I do so less than 10% of the time) but when I do, my range is polarized. I lead out with draws and total air when I expect a villain to fold (i.e. I'm donking to win the pot immediately), and I lead out with monsters when I expect a villain to call or raise (I'm donking to build a pot).
With medium strength hands (e.g. top pair), I'll usually take the more standard line of check-calling. I don't usually lead out with medium strength hands, because I don't want to get raised off my equity, but I also don't want to fold out worse hands. If your hand will get value by letting the PFR make a c-bet, then checking is usually the best play.

Bracelet Winner
Mon Jan 06, 2014, 02:49 AM
ggervacio's Avatar
Since: Dec 2011
Posts: 341
Funny I've been playing online poker for years and I learn what a donk bet means just now! That could mean I won't be making the Super Nova anytime soon... may be another 5 years or 10. But I do donk bet for some reasons ArtySmokesPS mentioned... so I guess there is still hope for me. Thanks for the feedback guys! Goodluck!

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