One of the most common mistakes players make in poker is making bad bets in crucial moments. Instead of thinking through and deciding what they actually want to do with their bet they automatically press one of the pre-defined buttons (half pot, pot bet, all in…) and often give they opponents good pot odds to call or make them fold instead of keeping them in the hand. Learning how to bet properly to make the best of your strong hands and bluffs will give you an important advantage over your opponents.
As with most things in life, you have to know your goal before making a bet. Do you bet for value or you want to scare your opponent and make him fold his hand. This primary goal will affect how much money you put in the pot. So instead of just pressing predefined buttons in your poker room take a few seconds and think before going for your chips. And never to the same thing all over again because you’ll become an open book.
How to bet using bet sizes in poker
Making a correct bet in a poker hand depends on one of these two situations:
You want your opponent to throw his hand
To make this happen you need to bet just enough to make the hand too expensive for your opponent, but not too much so you don’t lose a lot if he has a monster and raises you.
This doesn’t mean that you have to min-bet, or you’ll give your opponent good odds to stick around, and it’s going to be a lot harder to know your next move. So you should always have to ask yourself how to complete your goal without risking too much money
If you for example raised pre-flop, got called and missed the flop there’s no need to bet a lot just to keep the pressure. A 2/3 of the flop is in this case as effective as a pot bet – depending on your opponent’s reaction in most cases you’ll know how strong your hand is, without risking too much money.
You want your opponent to call
This is called a value bet. You know you have the best hand and want to take as much money as possible. You want your opponent to call you with a weaker hand, so don’t make it too expensive or you’ll scare him away and miss out on all those chips.
It’s very important to pay attention and try to find out as much as you can about your opponent when trying to make him pay and stick around. Again, don’t just make min-bets by default. If you think your opponent will pay a big bet because he might think your bluffing then bet strong and make him believe he controls the hand.
On the other hand make the bet smaller for tight players and act like you’re c-betting, without actually having a hand. This way you’ll make him pay his middle pair for example, and keep him in the hand where you’re a big favorite.
This tips will definitely help you to learn how to bet in the best way, but if you want to become serious poker player and to get right knowledge, we recommend you to read some of the best poker books, where you will learn and master other important strategies and poker skills.