5bet Shove – The Last Bet

5betting is serious business and normally involves getting all in. If 4betting is the new the 3betting like we discussed last time, well 5betting is certainly the new 4betting. It used to mean ‘always the nuts’, but in today’s games it could mean anything, certainly above NL100. Our mental game, history, 5bet odds, our 5bet shove range and equity when called all need to be considered for profitable 5bets.

If you’re the type of reg who gets in AQ+ and TT+ regardless of the opposition then I’d suggest you’re not paying enough attention. Like all bets, 5bets need to be tailored especially when 5bet bluffing.

Solid ‘Fold to 5bet’ %’s are hard to come by. That said, if you have an 8 hand fold to 5bet sample and its 6/9 (66%), there’s certainly a case there for 5bet shoving very wide.

Without these rare fold to 5bet numbers we’re gonna have to create a range to use and run some math. Nothing ‘always’ works, so choosing a bluff range that will do ’OK’ when called on average, can turn a –EV shove into +EV one.

5betting Hand Ranges

Vs a standard All-in range of AK+ and JJ+ I’ve found the best hand range’s to use are:

Pocket pairs – around 33% (equity when called)

Axs – 29.5%

Small-mid Suited Connectors 28.8%-29.7%

KQs – 29.3%

Now let’s create a scenario for our range:

Were in the SB with 44, and we decided to 3bet our hand to 10bb with the intention of jamming it in

vs the aggro Button who 4bet to 25bb. He opens the Button 60% and has a 4bet range of 20%. (This

equates to 12% of the hands he opens on the button: .60*.20 =. 12 or 12%). We know this opponent

enough that he will only call with JJ+AK (3% of starting hands) and fold the rest. So 1/4 of the time

he calls, ¾ he folds (3% is ¼ of 12% obviously).

Is our shove profitable? Let’s see. I’ll make this as easy as possible so you can adjust the numbers for your own use.

When he calls we have close to 33% equity (32.722%) with 44 vs JJ+AK.

.33 (Our equity) * 111 (the current 36bb pot+his remaining stack) – .67 (his equity) * 90 (our shove)

36.63 – 60.3 = -23.67bb in EV when called. So no surprise here as we have a baby pocket pair and

are in bad shape.

So is he folding enough for this to be profitable?

To work this out just:

a) Multiply the 36bb pot by 3 (equating to the 3 out of 4 (or 75%) of the time he folds).

b) Minus our EV (the -23.67bb we worked out above). Equating to the 1 in 4 times (or 25% of the

time) he calls. Still with me?

So it looks like this: 36+36+36 -23.67 = 84.33. Divide this into 4 (for each time we do it)

= +EV shove of +21.08bb

So how do other hand ranges fair? Well A2s vs JJ+AK has 29.5% equity vs this range, so would be slightly less profitable on average, but would still be profitable nonetheless.

The hand ranges above are fairly similar in terms of equity. So with the best hand range chosen it’s really down to how often he’ll fold. It’s up to you to decide if your opponent folds enough. Is his range wide enough? Has he recently lost a bunch and is tilted? Have you been aggressive this session? Has he seen you do this before?

5 betting deep: 

The only time you won’t be all-in 5betting (other than when earlier bets were small) is when you’re deep. I consider deep as 150bb+. You won’t often see this, as most players simply aren’t prepared to bluff as much deep. If they won’t bluff deep, they certainly don’t want to go broke deep. Use this knowledge to your advantage. When someone 4 bets a lot and can generally fold, they will fold even more when deep, especially the deeper you get. This is a fantastic spot for you when in position. I’d 3bet them more for this reason… they have to fear going broke with a big stack playing OOP and generally lay off with the 4bets. Again I like to use blockers to aid my cause.

The Mental aspect of 5 betting: 

5 betting deep and bluff shoving will be expensive, so you need to be pretty darn accurate with your reads. None of us are none-tilting poker robots who only measure every outcome in EV. Of course we should all have EV in mind when making any decision, but poker is not always like that, especially in big pots for full stacks. There are times when all I can think about is the money (hey I’m like anyone else), and if this is your current mind-set, I’m advising you not to make these plays. Simply because if you’re already off your game, chances are your reads are too, making these big bets/ shoves marginal at best… just outright bad at worst; possibly throwing money down the drain.

Are you ok with getting snapped off by the top of their range? If not just don’t do it. Keeping an ‘A game’ intact is more important I’d say. This isn’t always talked about. The EV we worked out above is all well and good, but if he shows up with KK, this tilts you and now you feel you’ve ‘blew a stack off’… your what I like to call ‘Mental EV’ is affected; as in everything you do from then onwards. If the rest of your session spirals into despair, your 21bb +EV shove has just been wasted by consequent spewing. Your negative ‘Mental EV’ has destroyed your future EV opportunities.


Up next… Realizing equity

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  1. Willian says:

    Great article Cinch, hope more good content will come!

  2. Cinch says:

    Hi Willian!
    There’s plenty more to come on a variety of subjects, stay tuned 🙂

  3. spartankk says:

    example Villain is a shovers dream..in reality,or at my stake 100nl,people min raise btn with 4bet range around 6, thing that change the equation to almost breakeven i think..good article though

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