Bet Sizing: Beginner v Experience

On the face of it, poker looks like a very simple game, and this is partly true, hence the popularity of games like No Limit Hold’em (NLHE). But when you dig beneath the veneer you start to realise that there are a lot of questions waiting to be answered.

Take bet sizing for example. When you make your first foray into the Betfair World Series of Poker, this is a problem that can become most perplexing. You have a strong hand and want to bet, but exactly how much should you bet and why?

Beginner Example

The beginner gets too excited when they see they have flopped the nuts. They might even decide to just go all-in with an meaty overbet, but at the very least they will make a pot sized bet.

This continues on each street and only a blind person would fail to see that they are in trouble. The beginner doesn’t care what their opponent may, or may not, have. They don’t even pose the internal question, ‘will they call?” Instead they just bet.

More Experienced Example

A more experience player pauses for thought. They analyse their opponent’s stack, their own stack and the size of the pot after the pre flop betting has finished.

They also weigh up their hand strength in relation to their opponents, after taking pre flop play into consideration. Bet sizing then depends on why you are betting. Are you betting as a bluff or for value?

As you can see there is more thought applied in the latter example. If you are betting for value and believe your opponent will pay you, off then bet bigger. If you are betting as a bluff, and you need to scare your opponent into a fold, then bet bigger. If you are running an intricate three street bluff then three smaller bets may do the trick.

So as you can see there is more than one way to skin a cat, but the important lesson here is to apply the brakes and think, especially in Betfair Poker LIVE events.


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