When you think of poker, it is easy to simply think of it as a card game. To think that all it involves is some cards and luck is a false idea. Poker is a very strategic game, which involves the development of a lot of talent and skill. Not only do you need to have a good grasp of poker rules, and learn how to build winning poker hands, but you also need to learn about a very important aspect of poker; bet size.
In various classic poker games, an important element is betting. Betting not only incentivizes the players to keep playing the game, but it also contributes to the betting pool. So, if all the players at the table consistently bet, then the pool has a chance to expand. However, the amount you bet depends on the strength of your cards, and also on your estimations of your opponent’s cards. Choosing the correct betting amount can get confusing. So, we’re here to guide you on the different components to selecting a betting size. Read on, and get ready to learn.
Small Bet Size
When betting, there is a distinct advantage to small bets. While this might seem strange, it is actually a sound strategy. But before we dive into the advantages of betting small, let’s take a look at the difference between a big and small bet.
- Generally, when you bet big, you end up folding more often than when you bet small. This is usually because you end up betting all your allocated amount in one go, and then have to fold rather than place another bet.
- Even when you apply a strategy of bluffing, it has to work more often to be profitable if your betting size is big, when compared to small. This is obviously because there is more money at stake when you bet big, so your bluff has to work, or you will end up losing the money.
- However, you can use a bluff less often when you are betting small. This is because bluffs are a deceptive tactic generally used to convince an opponent that you have a stronger hand than you do, however, if you keep betting small, then it shatters the illusion of a superior hand.
Now, when it comes to small bet, there are some advantages to it. It isn’t a classic betting strategy, but it is considered to be useful in certain situations. Betting small largely depends on your position. Whether you’re out of position or in position will determine how you can bet small, and what advantages it could bring to you.
Consider yourself in a situation where you’re out of position. In such a situation, you might be tempted to check, which is to not place a bet at all. This is a safe strategy but also not really taking you ahead in the game, either. The other option is to often bet half-pot, which is around 50% of the pot. Often players struggle to decide between these two betting amounts when they’re out of position.
However, there is a third alternative; a small bet. A smaller bet would be right in the middle of the two betting sizes discussed above, at around 25% of the pot. This way, you’re not betting too large an amount when you’re out of position, but neither are you staying completely out of the game. This also allows your opponent’s calling range to remain wide, which is a good move when you don’t have the best cards in hand.
Now, let’s talk about betting small when you’re in position. Often it seems like checking when you’re stuck with average cards would be the best option. However, there is the option of making a small bet and changing the outcome. When you choose the check position, it ends the action and brings forth the next card. However, since you haven’t bet, your range is now capped. So, it’s a smarter choice to place a bet which is one-fourth or one-fifth the size of the pot and keep the action going. You never know what the next card is, and how your range could change. This is also a smart move because it could make your opponent think that you have a strong hand and are just playing it safe by betting small and inducing them to raise the bets. One the other hand, if you simply check, your opponent knows that you have an inferior hand, and that gives them the freedom to play a much stronger game.
We’ve given you some tips to get you started on betting small and giving this unique strategy a chance. It’s time to get playing and seeing how you hold up in an actual game. So come join us at Spartan Poker and play online poker!