Equity, it’s the reason why we play or continue in the hand. Equity is the driver of poker decisions and in this principle I want to talk about the concept of equity denial also known as protection.
A part of a betting strategies' EV comes from making your opponent fold equity. You already know this. Imagine you are bluffing the river, you do this because you believe your hand won't win at showdown because it has little to no equity, and you think you can make your opponent fold a hand that has higher equity than you. If he does this a high enough % of the time compared to the amount of money you are risking you have made a +EV decision.
The same is true on earlier streets. If you can get a hand that has equity vs your hand to fold that is considered a win. The more equity your opponents range has vs your hand that will fold vs a bet, the higher EV betting usually has and therefor the more we start betting.
I want to highlight that the concept of protection only applies vs equity that FOLDS vs a bet, if your opponent has equity that will call vs a bet (a flushdraw for example) we are betting to get called by a lower equity hand, we are value betting, and not betting for protection to make him fold equity.
So always ask yourself, does my hand need protection vs villains folding range? If the answer is yes, we usually bet more, if the answer is no, we usually bet less.
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