Bet-sizing is a basic technique players need to master early on for other poker strategies and skills to do work. Here are some basic tips of how to bet according to the scenario.
The 3X and 4x Rule
- 3x the original raise when in position
- 4x the original raise when out of position
It is much harder to win the pot when you must act first after each street postflop. This discourages calls. If you are in position then this tactic is even better adjusted to small three bet sizing, as you will get to act last after every street preflop when others call.
This strategy has been tested by online poker players with success. The goal is to invite the fewest amount of hands into the game, increasing your chances of winning.
Examples when it is a good idea to use the 3x bet sizing are when you have an over pair, a pair of cards that is not the strongest of suits like 1010. This hand is very tricky because you just do not know how strong it will be.
We discuss basics of the 3x theory here, but after you grasped the basic idea read this very complete bet sizing guide from online poker pro and writer Mathew Cluff.
The 2x or 2.5x mistake
Most rookies make the mistake to only double or 2.5x their raises. Opponents will read this as a weak call, and some will re-raise your bet or call just to fish. The goal of reducing the number of opponents for the next round is not achieved.
3.5x in the blinds
When you are out of position (in the blinds), the 3.5x rule seems to have the best effect. This is because it will be more difficult to win the hand when you must act first on every round postflop. The 3.5x bet provides more reasons for opponents to fold.
2.2x in the 4Bet
A 4Bet is a re-raise of a 3Bet. It does not happen often, as it implies the bet has been raised 3 times already. Your hand must be strong, and players are committed. A 2.2x bet sizing has the best results in this scenario.
Note that you should only engage in a 4Bet when having monster hands and you want one or two players to call to take a huge pot size. 2.2x is not small enough that all opponents call, and neither is it too big that they all fold or decide to go all-in.
CBets are perfect in a tournament situation when you have good hands and want a few players to call. Bets should be anything between 40% and 60% of the pot range. It applies to the turn and the river as well.
Vary the bet sizing zs. the fish
Use all the beforementioned strategies and apply them against recreational players, also known as the fish. Recreational players do not focus their play on smart calling or effective strategies.
Studying poker is not for them, and so that makes them vulnerable to players like yourself that are looking for loopholes to make a living from poker. Learn to identify the fish, and after a few well studied basic strategies and tested, you will be ready to make a nice side income from online poker.
One modification you would like to make is to increase your bet sizes when you hold good hands, and reduce your stake size with bad hands, but grow in the habit of making a raise, even if it is just of 50% when you have a hand like King high. With a strong pair you can bet 80% of the pot.
Small bet sizing in the river
In some river situations when you are confident you can win, apply a small bet raise to prevent all opponents of folding. Against the regulars this works best, with the fish you can risk more to get the most from them.
The reason you want to go hard against the fish is to cut down bluffers. The River is key to build a big pot size, so here is where your bet sizing technique builds your profit. Some great situations to apply this bet sizing rule are: when you get lucky and have a strong pair in the river, when you have a top or middle pair, or when you hit some weird two pair.
These basic tactics are enough to point you in the right direction. Test them out in an online game and adjust them to your style of play. At the The Sure Bettor we have all types of gambling tips to increase your revenue stream.
Not only can you exploit weak players on online poker, matched betting is also exploitable and we have the perfect tool for that, if you wish to learn more.