This refers to when a person out of position calls your pre-flop raise and then leads into you with a bet on the flop.
The normal routine in all poker games is the flop is checked around to the pre-flop raiser as he has shown strength and the players usually wait for him to act to then decide to continue or not.
So a donk bet while not uncommon is a play less used.
However different player types use donk betting in different ways.
For a weaker player, i.
a fish, they tend to lead out on the flop for the minimum amount to see where they are in the hand.
You can usually raise these players the size of the pot and 8 times out of 10 they will fold.
If the weaker player leads out on the flop and calls your re-raise, you should beware as this is often a trapping move by the weaker player If the weaker player donk bets the minimum amount and then re-raises your raise on the flop, I would advise to throw away all hands bar monsters as he always has two pair or better here and wants to play for stacks.
For an experienced player, the donk bet should be used in a balanced un-exploitative way.
If you only lead the flop with draws, your thinking opponents will quickly pick up on this.
You should alternate your play and donk lead with not just draws/weak made hands and air, but also with sets, top pair and overcards.
You should have a donk bet percentage of between 15-25% and should now form part of your online poker strategy.
So how can we exploit a experienced regular player? Easy, if a regular player raises your cbets a lot, then this inversely affects his donk betting patterns.
This means he is more often value raising hands on the flop than leading on the flop for value, so when he donk bets you know it is at the bottom of his value range/air, so you can safely raise his bet and he will fold.
And vice versa, if he rarely raises your continuation bets and he now leads on the flop, it is safe to say that his donk betting range is stronger.
You may call the donk bet but if he double barrel leads out on the flop and turn the turn, then his range has now narrowed even further to the top of his value betting range and is now in your best interest to fold even top pair hands.
As you can see, once you understand the concept of donk betting and how it affects players ranges, it is easier to formulate a plan to combat it.
This can be said about any play in online poker.
If you spot an opponent is doing too much of a particular play, then it obviously makes sense to exploit this by counteracting it to your benefit.
The easiest way to pick up on opponents tendencies is to play 4 tables for a while as this gives you enough time to analyse all the big pots even when you are not in them.
Go through the bet sizing and note any weird non ordinary actions a player may take and after time you will see your own hand reading skills improve to a standard where you will crush the games you play.