- The Big Bet
Let's say it's the river, you have one opponent
left, and you either have the nuts, or based on what you know
about your opponent and your read on the hand,
you figure you have the best of it. Now he checks to you,
and it's time for you to make a bet. You have
to do something to extract money out of your opponent.
Often times people in this situation will go for
the 'value bet'. A bet of half the pot or less, this is a bet that's
pleading to be called, a bet that's designed
to get paid off. You don't want to scare off your customer.
The thing is, if you're always making small bets
when you have a good hand, you become predictable and
easy to read, and if you make small bets both
when you're bluffing and good hands, your bluffs will get called
a lot more than you would want them to.
So sometimes you need to mix it up and make big
bets with your strong hands. This makes your bets harder
to figure out, and also puts you in a position
to make more money. It's also a play that allows you to disguise
your hand and make your bet look like a bluff.
Let's say a flop comes 8-K-2 with 2 clubs, and
you have pocket 8's. You're thrilled, you've flopped a set
and expect to win a big pot. The pot is 30 dollars
at this point, your opponent bets 15 bucks and you just call,
you're not putting them on a flush draw and you
want to give them some rope to hang themselves with.
The turn is a harmless red 4 and your opponent
now bets 30 dollars, again half the pot, you call.
The river is a Jack that doesn't complete the
flush, the pot is 120 dollars, and now your opponent checks to you.
Now is normally when a player makes a bet of around
60 dollars, another safe half the pot sized bet to get
some money from their opponent, but this is also
the perfect spot to make a big bet, a pot-sized bet or even bigger,
just think how crazy it would be if you bet 200
Now why on earth would you make such a bet? It's
because all poker hands are about telling a story, and the story
you're now trying to tell your opponent is "I
had a flush draw on the flop and missed it, and now on the river, I'm trying
to steal this pot from you by making a crazy
bet, please fold, please fold, pllllllllleeeeeassssseeeeee fold!!!!!"
Think the hand through from your opponent's eyes,
you meekly called the flop and turn, and now when checked
to the river, respond with a crazy, almost double-the-pot
sized bet. You are screaming that you're bluffing and begging
not to be called. Now the amount you bet may
be to intimdating for your opponent to call, but he could very easily
follow how the hand played out and decide you
do have a busted flush draw and that he does have to pay to see it.
You have to think about how often each bet will
be called, if your 60 dollar bet will be called 75% of the time,
then that's a 45 dollat expected value. If your
200 dollar bet is called 25% of the timee, that's a 50 dollar value,
so if those are the expectations, you should
make the big bet and hope you get paid off.
Lastly, the times you don't get called after you
make such a big bet plants the seed of doubt in your opponent's minds.
They don't know what you had, they don't know
how you're playing, you're beating them mentally and taking their money.
This can lead to them finally cracking and deciding
that they have to call one of your big bets just to see what you got,
and if you're waiting for them, you'll have plenty.
Comments or questions as always can be sent to
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