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Understanding Poker Bet Sizing: Part One

Poker players must be able to constantly adapt to the flow of a game in order to come out on top. A large part of this concerns one of the most important aspects of bankroll management: bet sizing. Here are a few tips to help you out.

The first aspect of
poker bet sizing to consider is the goal of your bet. It’s important to make a choice between bulking up your chips or the more strategic usage of betting as a method of knocking competitors out of the game.

Those who fall into the latter category need to place conservative bets for almost the entire game. Larger bets should be kept to almost a complete minimum and be used only in situations where opponents are very likely to be beat out. Perfect hands and predictable competitors make up some of the only situations where big bets become a good option within this strategy. Resisting aggressive play and exercising a lot of restraint with bet sizing is advisable for winning through these means.

If you’re looking only to increase your chip count then it becomes more important to only place larger bets on hands which stand a very small chance of being beaten out. Bets should remain conservative until the river has revealed a nearly unbeatable combination with your pocket. The only major difference between this outlook and non pot-centred play is the allowance of occasional expensive bets when the situation allows.

Fielding Poker Opponent Hand Ranges

Being able to predict your opponent’s possible hands is an integral part of playing successful poker games but it can be a tricky area of strategy to master. Through the use of hand ranges it becomes easier to form a general estimation of what your competitors may have and, subsequently, the kind of risks that are worth taking.

There are many factors to consider when determining the possible range of your opponents hand. Some of these boil down to common sense and involve a grasp on the
average poker hand. Most players will find themselves with a mid-range pocket fairly often and it is thus best to assume that your opponent possesses something similar. Watching the flop may go a long way toward forming an educated guess toward hands as well. Face cards should be watched for and counted so that a proper estimation can be deduced and taken into mind before deciding to push or fold.

As blinds grow in size in the late stages of a game it becomes increasingly important to be able to gauge the possible cards in your opponent’s hand. Other factors will play a bigger role in determining your initial betting at this time but unclear estimations should be avoided during this stage. Experience and a bit of careful consideration will always boil down to the best plan of action however. Knowing your odds and keeping vigilant watch over flops and mucks can add up to a lot of success if properly considered.

Handling a Large Poker Chip Stack

It’s not exactly the worst situation at the poker table when you’ve found yourself with a large chip stack but it’s worth knowing a few tips about the best way to use this to your advantage.

Knowing how to handle a
large chip stack depends greatly on your goal in a game. If you’re sitting at a tournament then it’s likely that you’re either out for the biggest possible financial reward or the bragging rights and notoriety of taking first place.

If you’re attempting to do nothing more than come out on top then a
large chip stack is best viewed as a tool for taking others down through sheer attrition. A large chip stack can allow for even mediocre hands to stretch their worth much further as it allows you to act much more aggressively on tough bets and showdowns. Pure bluffing or semi-bluffing poorer players also becomes strategically viable if you don’t mind throwing chips away at intimidating others into backing away from a hand.

The opposite attitude should be utilized if you’ve achieved a large chip stack and merely wish to increase it before leaving the table. Cautious playing will allow your chips to stay firmly in hand while your nurture your payout to its largest possible size.

Remember that keeping your chips high can always act as a safety net to cover for even the worst situations and will go a long way toward winning a game and avoiding common pitfalls such as increasingly large blinds or bad beats.

The Art of Discipline in Poker

Every quality poker player knows that there is a lot to be gained from restraint in the typical game. Discipline is an aspect of worthwhile poker play that is incredibly important and unfortunately, rather difficult to teach. Just the same, there are a few basic tips which can be provided to help players in learning how to restrain themselves.

Remembering your past mistakes is of paramount importance toward learning proper discipline and should be kept in mind after every loss. Reading bad beat stories can be a quicker (and less costly) way to learn what to avoid and how to cultivate proper restraint through other player’s recorded mistakes.

Discipline must also be exercised in game selection. Even if bigger tournaments or buy-ins appeal to you remember that choosing the level which suits your bankroll and ability will always have a positive return on your overall success. Shooting outside of your range will more likely provide you with a bad beat of your own rather than any sort of financial return.

Last of the tips to remember is knowing when to fold a bad hand or backing out of a round after the flop. Although it’s easier said than done in many cases try to remember what you’ve learned from poor game selection and over-ambition. It’ll always provide you with more success in the long run.