In No Limit Hold’em one of the most important things to get right is the ability to pick the right sized poker bets. If you bet too low, too many players at the table will call. If you bet too high without the right hand, you could be called and potentially lose your stack.
Your decision will depend on the scenario. But when it comes to making the right sized poker bets there are ways of making sure you get it right more often. Right-sized bets will maximise your winnings and minimise your losses; the key to successful poker.
Pot size is the first thing to bear in mind. You’ll need to understand pot odds fairly well to be able to correctly make the right bet. If you’re playing Limit poker, you count the number of bets in the pot instead of the amount of money. If you’re playing No-Limit it’s a little bit harder to count the pot and, as a result, the odds will not be as exact.
Essentially you must be able to put your opponents on likely hands and understand your odds of making a better hand than theirs. Think about whether you are giving your opponent the right odds to make the call. Or whether you want your opponent to even make the call. Maybe you want a fold!
For example, if you are giving your opponent pot odds of 5:1 to call to see a turn when it is clear they are chasing a flush, then you haven’t made the right sized bet.
Pre-Flop Poker Bets
Typically the pre-flop raise is 3-4 times the big blind. But, of course, you can adapt this amount to the conditions. Consider playing against an ultra-aggressive player with a history of calling pretty much any pre-flop raise.
You might require a much larger raise to increase winning potential. The more mistakes you can force your opponents to make, the more money you will make in the long run.
If you are ever unsure of the exact amount to bet, always go bigger than smaller. Inexperienced players who don’t quite understand bet sizes tend to be too conservative.
Make sure you can back up every bet you make with a reason for it. Try to question yourself; why am I betting this much/this little? Do I want a call, or do I want to push this opponent off this hand?
Experience at the table is the key. The more hands you get involved in over time, the more instinctive it becomes to choose the right poker bet. You will get burned along the way but this will only improve your understanding of the game and how your opponents think.