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Understanding Poker Bet Sizing: Part Two

This is the second post on Pot Sizing. The First Post can be found here.

There are several determining factors that should also be taken into consideration before putting down
poker chips on a bet. In the previous article we covered the necessary distinction between strategic and bankroll increasing betting but it’s also important to note some general table features significant toward either method.

The most important table elements worthy of serious consideration include the size of the pot, the number of opponents left in the game and the development of your hand. If any one of these features is weak then it can make an enormous difference on how large your bets should be scaled.

A large number of competitors can make rewarding bets increasingly difficult.
Bet sizing should be considered in direct comparison to how many players are still left. In a showdown situation or a table with few others still active a sizable bet can be misguided. Fewer opponents are easier to read and thus easier to manipulate by pushing in with an intimidating bet.

Pot size cannot be underestimated either. Winning a larger pot falls into the bankroll increasing category of play and should be considered strategically. If you’re in a game for nothing more than the prestige of a win then large bets should mostly be avoided (unless used in on perfect hands or predictable opponents) as they can often serve as pot stimulators rather than tools for winning.

Hand development is significant in a very obvious manner. Any good poker player knows that bluffing too often with large bets will only yield frequent bad beats. Bet sizing should always be made relative to the strength of your hand in relation to dealt cards.

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.