Poker Hands: Dealing with Showdown Value Hands in Texas Hold’em

Last updated on : 28 Jan, 2021

Dealing with Showdown Value Hands in Texas Hold’em

Dealing with Showdown Value Hands in Texas Hold’em

All who play the game of cards have one common objective in mind, to make it to the poker showdown and hope that you hold the better combination of cards. This is why showdown value hands in Texas hold’em poker are viewed with such importance. Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker which sees most newcomers engage in playing it regularly. Winning hands in Texas Hold’em poker are categorized based on the poker hand rankings and the situation present at the table of play.


While you might make it to the poker showdown, there are chances that you might not judge your hands correctly and end up confused about whether or not you hold a showdown value hand. Showdown value (SDV) in poker is vital for those willing to make the most out of the tables they have managed to reach to the depth. By incorporating these playing techniques in your overall poker strategy, you will stand a better chance at winning the pot by understanding how to go about with showdown value, especially with the Texas Hold’em format.


Showdown Value 101


A challenge that most poker players are bound to face is while deciding correctly whether their hand is of value or showdown value. This is even further complicated when you take into account that your oppositions’ range and frequency is also a factor in classifying the hand you hold. The bottom line is that showdown value tends to create confusion among players more so on turns and rivers so knowing about it will work in your favour.


In order to fully comprehend and use showdown value to your advantage during a game, you must first learn what value is. Simply put, if you bet when you are ahead of the range that the villain would continue with, you are said to be in a post-flop value bet. What this means is that your hand is usually the best at the table where you can draw more value from your opponents in the continuing range.


Showdown value works differently in the sense that here you can expect your hand to be good, but it isn’t good enough to where a bet would be of value. Betting is done for one of two reasons: you either look to bluff so your opponents can fold better hands, or you do so to add value to your bet so that your opponent continues with worse hands. If your hand has showdown value, you’d know that it isn’t strong enough to guarantee a value bet, but it's also too strong to use as a means of a bluff.


Showdown Value Illustration


For our example, let us assume that you open the hand with JTs from MP where you see the button calling, and the HU flop arrives as Queen of Spades with a nine and a six of diamonds. You go ahead and Cbet for $4.5 and the button calls. The turn comes out as a three of spades you semi-bluff, this time for $11. Ahead, you get a ten on the river as the button calls. Now, if you bet and get enough bad hands to keep going, this is known as a value bet. If you bet and the villain does not continue with worse hands, the bet would then be considered a bluff.


If you make it to the showdown in such a predicament, you can expect to be ahead of a non-zero percentage of the time even more so if the river goes for a check-check strategy. If you believe that your hand is likely to win most showdowns even when the bet is not of value, then this attitude is helpful in finding out whether your hand is of showdown value or not. You can conclude this one you are done with ranges.


You must ask yourself about the range that the villain used to get to the river and about the range he used a betting action. Let us assume that the villain entered the river with an AQ, 98s, 76s, 87s, AQ and with an Ace and Jack of diamonds. This isn’t nearly a complete or accurate range, but it works for the sake of explanation.


Now, you must ask yourself if you can bet for value. However, if you bet and he decides to fold 76s, 98s and AJ of diamonds then that would imply that he only wishes to continue against your bets with such hands that could beat your pair of tens. In such a scenario, your hand qualifies to be of showdown value more than value bet since you are ahead of parts of ranges but not so much against your opponent’s continuing range.


You must also consider the possibility of betting and turning this hand into a bluff. The hiccup here is that if you bet and your opponent doesn’t fold his top pair or straight, then you shouldn’t have hopes about him folding better hands that often. Betting from such a position would do no good, and so you should check and continue playing. Your anticipation here would be that the villain would manage to check later, and you can make something out of your showdown value.


Using SDV and Value Appropriately


Showdown values and values are interlinked. Your poker hand could lean towards value against a particular opponent, and the same hand could lean towards a showdown value against someone else. Let us take another example where you do a three-bet with the Ace-King combination pre-flop, and the villain chooses to call. The flop brings out a King and Queen of spades and hearts respectively along with the seven of diamonds, and the villain goes for a check.


Now, let us assume that the villain calls for your three-bet with a range of TT+/AK. If you’re up against a nitty poker player, the chances are that he won’t continue with those weak hands or even fold to superior hands. Therefore, a bet won’t be of value at this time. And so we can say that once again your hand is more of a showdown value holding against a nit.


If the villain plays in a fishy manner, then that would mean one of two things. One, he probably called the three-bet with a vast range of hands that include 99, AQ and 88. Two could be that he is bound to do the same for the flop. If this player is, in fact, a fish, then he won’t be folding KK or QQ. Instead, he will choose to carry on with TT, JJ and AQ more often. This dynamic makes your hand of value against such a player as opposed to showdown value.


The point to notice here is the relativity between value and showdown value. In our illustration, you held the same hands against both opponents, a kicker and a top pair. However, your hand shifted towards value or showdown value depending on whom you were against, and this is how it will be for the most part. Against fishy players, your hands will lean closer to value since you can beat most of their continuing range. Against tighter, single pair and nittier players, this shift will see you lean towards showdown value for many spots.


Building Your Game with SDV and Value


Knowledge of showdown value is important. However, your goal should be to improve your hand reading skills. The ability to read poker hands will allow you to put your opposition in a better range of hands, and this will help you make right assumptions on how they’d continue with different hands. The more you practice this, the better it gets.


There will also be such times where you have showdown value, but it's better to check and reach the showdown. This doesn’t conclude that you must always check/call or check/ fold. It only implies that a bet isn’t valuable enough and so getting to the showdown is better.


Understanding showdown value could be complicated. However, if you wish to play poker at a high level and gain good profits, these are aspects that you must take into consideration. By registering yourself on Spartan Poker’s reliable platform, you will learn many more such exciting concepts that you can equip in your arsenal and improve your game. From our wide range of blogs, website pages and easy to understand game portals, you can learn how to play poker and excel at it. So, join Spartan Poker and get going on your poker journey.

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