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The Size of Bets In No Limit Poker

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The size of bets is one of the main concerns of beginner poker players when they strat grasping the game.

Making the right sized bets during the different stages of a poker hand is essential because otherwise your game will have a big leak.

Making the right size bets helps you maximize your wins and minimize your losses and it also allows you to take control of the game. This is because you’ll be able to manipulate your opponents game by giving them the incorrect odds to call when they are having a drawing hand, for example.

The bet sizing skill is a key factor in no limit poker games, including Poker Texas Hold’em, Omaha and H.O.R.S.E. Poker.

How should you size your bets?

The size of your bets should be related to the size of the pot, which means you should check how much money is in the pot before betting or raising. The pot odds your opponents get will depend on the size of the bet you make into the pot and they will make their call with the correct odds or the wrong odds.

If your opponents make a call with the wrong odds, this will be profitable for you because they will be making a fundamental mistake. This means that it is really important that you make good size bets in order to force your opponents to call and make a mistake.

Every time the other players make a call with the wrong odds, you’ll win money.

Quick rule for no limit bet sizing

Remember to make a bet of about ¾ the full size of the pot if you believe you have a better hand than the other poker players in the game.

For example, if you are playing a no limit poker Hold’em game in which the pot is $20 and you think you have the best hand, you should bet approximately $15 to $20 each time.

As a result, your opponents will not be able to make the right call in case they are on a draw since they will not have the right pot odds. Besides, this size of bets will give you the chance to force the weaker hands to fold and reduce the field, thus reducing the odds of our hand being outdrawn when the next card is revealed.

You should make a bet that is less than half the amount of the pot only in a few situations because when you make a weak bet you lose value on your hand and you give the other players the right odds and allow them to outdraw you.

You may consider making a bet that is less than half the pot size only when you have a good hand but you want to mislead your opponents into that you have a weak hand. If you are certain that you opponent is tricky and you can lead them into thinking that you are weak, you can bet a small amount and hope that will raise you. However, you should bet strongly rather than weak in most cases.

Another advantage of big bets

When you have a strong hand and you make a big bet your opponents will face a tough decision and if they call you’ll get more information about how strong their hand is. If your opponent calls, this means that they feel they hold a decent or strong hand, or also a really strong drawing hand. As a result, you can use the information to make your decision on the next betting round.

If you have a good hand but is easily beat, you may slow down the bets during future betting rounds since your opponent could beat you since they called your strong bet in the earlier round. If you still feel you have the best hand, you should continue betting strongly in order to win as much money as possible and make the most of your pot equity.

A common mistake made by amateur players concerning bets and raising is that they wait until the action gets to them to make minimum bets and raise. When you place a minimum bet before the flop, many players will call you because you’ll give them good odds to see a flop with any two poker cards.

Try not to make minimum bets and raising in general. Just make a strong bet or don’t bet.

In the same way, even when you have the best poker hand, if you decide to minimum raise an opponent that is betting into you, you’ll give them the right odds to outdraw you. Besides, you’ll find out very little about the other player’s hand when minimum raise or bet because they will almost always call no matter what cards they have.

Raising before the flop

In general, if you decide to raise before the flop you should raise around 3 or 4 times the size of the big blind. If there were a few limpers before you and you still want to raise, add an extra bet onto the 3 or 4 times the big blind raise. In this way, you’ll stop other players from calling with good odds.

For example, if you play $1/$2 and you had two limpers before you, it would be enough to bet $10 or $12. Besides, if you decide to raise another player’s bet you should raise them 3 times the size of their bet in order to make their odds to call to see the next card worse.

The following table shows how much you should raise pre-flop, depending on the number of players who have limped into the pot:


# of limpers Preflop raise (BBs) e.g. in $1/$2 NL
0 3 $6
1 4 $8
2 5 $10
3 6 $12
4 7 $14
5 8 $16

Poker bet sizing evaluation

To summarize the information:

  • After the flop, always bet 3/4 to the full size of the pot.
  • Before the flop, raise 3 or 4 times the size of the big blind.

If you are thinking about betting or raising, check out the size of the pot before moving the chip slider or before counting the chips in your stack out. Always try to decrease the odds the other players get and maximize the value of your hand. You can achieve this by making strong bets.

Your opponents will have more chances of running over you, even when they have weaker hands than you, if you make weak bets and play passively. Show your opponents your strength by making good bets into the pot whenever you can and let them know they can’t mess with you.

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