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[FTR Quick Tip 013] Bet Sizing

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  1. #1

    Arrow [FTR Quick Tip 013] Bet Sizing



    Bet sizing is an important skill that all top NL Hold'em players use to get the best of their opponents. There are a number of factors that should cause you to make smaller or larger bets. In this video, we explore some of the factors affecting bet-sizing.

    Questions? Discuss below!
  2. #2
    This is something I know about, yet don't implement it anywhere near as much as I should. So many times I just bet the exact same when I am bluffing, when I have a strong hand, against a fish, against a reg etc etc.

    Question: In the first example, would we not want to bet bigger to protect our hand from being outdrawn? A set isn't exactly invincible on that board and we are also OOP. I think I would usually bet between $3.25-$3.50 here

    If that's way off, can someone explain why please?
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  3. #3
    Don't vary your bet size based on the strength of your hand. That's why we play ranges and not hands. As long as we aren't giving him the odds to chase draws that's all that matters.

    I have absolutely no idea why he's betting $2.25 and not like $3 though. Accomplishes all the goals of the smaller bet whilst getting more money into the pot. Allows him to bluff shove certain hands over the top of us and isn't going to fold out any more of his range imo.
    Last edited by Savy; 07-06-2013 at 07:40 PM.
  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ImSavy View Post
    Don't vary your bet size based on the strength of your hand. That's why we play ranges and not hands. As long as we aren't giving him the odds to chase draws that's all that matters.

    I have absolutely no idea why he's betting $2.25 and not like $3 though. Accomplishes all the goals of the smaller bet whilst getting more money into the pot. Allows him to bluff shove certain hands over the top of us and isn't going to fold out any more of his range imo.
    That's not what I was saying. I was saying bet more to protect our hand against draws...not bet more because OMG WE GOT A SET!!
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  5. #5
    Hey guys,

    This is a pretty good point you're bringing up about betting maybe a little bit larger on the flop on that QQ hand. But I think $3.50 is too high. If we bet $3.50 here, when our opponent shoves $11.19, there will be $20.44 in the pot, and it will only be $7.69 for us to call. So, we'll be getting about 2.65-1, which might not make our opponent think he has enough fold equity here to shove light.

    So, I really thought maybe $3 would be the maximum we should bet here, but then I got thinking about the texture of the board and realized that there was only one OESD possible (JT double-gutter), and furthermore there was no Axs flush draw possible either. And even when our opponent has a FD or JT, there's a fair chance he will get it in with us on the flop, anyway. So this board was pretty dry, as far as draws go, and that led me to believe that a smaller betsize would be closer to correct and might get more action from things like pocket jacks or gutshots. On the other hand, our opponent could very well have paired the ace, but in that case it doesn't matter what we bet; he should get it in with us regardless. So, on balance I figured that betting smaller than $3 would be best here...maybe $2 is too low, but I think anything over $3 is too high.

    I also was thinking about standard betsizes in a 4bet pot, wherein players routinely bet 1/3 of the pot as a cbet, when there's an SPR around 1.5ish. In a 3bet pot, where SPRs are more normally around 4.5, it is common for players to bet 1/2 pot. In the hand in question, the SPR is about 2, so it's in between the normal SPRs of a 3bet and 4bet pot, but closer to a 4bet pot. So, I figured that the "standard" line in this spot would be to cbet between 1/3 and 1/2 of the pot, but closer to 1/3, both because of the SPR and because of the fact that the board is pretty dry.

    But, then we should consider our opponent also, and he looks pretty fishy, due to his stats, his stack size and his open-limp. However, we only have 13 hands on him, so it's not clear exactly how fishy he is. Therefore, we don't really know what his postflop tendencies are; they are likely bad, but we don't know what they are, so I'm not sure that this information helps us much in our flop bet-sizing decision.

    On balance, I concluded that a small betsize around $2-$2.25 was good here, based upon SPR and board texture. But I can surely see a good argument for any betsize up to around $3ish here.
  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1013 View Post
    Hey guys,

    This is a pretty good point you're bringing up about betting maybe a little bit larger on the flop on that QQ hand. But I think $3.50 is too high. If we bet $3.50 here, when our opponent shoves $11.19, there will be $20.44 in the pot, and it will only be $7.69 for us to call. So, we'll be getting about 2.65-1, which might not make our opponent think he has enough fold equity here to shove light.

    So, I really thought maybe $3 would be the maximum we should bet here, but then I got thinking about the texture of the board and realized that there was only one OESD possible (JT double-gutter), and furthermore there was no Axs flush draw possible either. And even when our opponent has a FD or JT, there's a fair chance he will get it in with us on the flop, anyway. So this board was pretty dry, as far as draws go, and that led me to believe that a smaller betsize would be closer to correct and might get more action from things like pocket jacks or gutshots. On the other hand, our opponent could very well have paired the ace, but in that case it doesn't matter what we bet; he should get it in with us regardless. So, on balance I figured that betting smaller than $3 would be best here...maybe $2 is too low, but I think anything over $3 is too high.

    I also was thinking about standard betsizes in a 4bet pot, wherein players routinely bet 1/3 of the pot as a cbet, when there's an SPR around 1.5ish. In a 3bet pot, where SPRs are more normally around 4.5, it is common for players to bet 1/2 pot. In the hand in question, the SPR is about 2, so it's in between the normal SPRs of a 3bet and 4bet pot, but closer to a 4bet pot. So, I figured that the "standard" line in this spot would be to cbet between 1/3 and 1/2 of the pot, but closer to 1/3, both because of the SPR and because of the fact that the board is pretty dry.

    But, then we should consider our opponent also, and he looks pretty fishy, due to his stats, his stack size and his open-limp. However, we only have 13 hands on him, so it's not clear exactly how fishy he is. Therefore, we don't really know what his postflop tendencies are; they are likely bad, but we don't know what they are, so I'm not sure that this information helps us much in our flop bet-sizing decision.

    On balance, I concluded that a small betsize around $2-$2.25 was good here, based upon SPR and board texture. But I can surely see a good argument for any betsize up to around $3ish here.
    That's a fantastic post, thanks Mike.
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  7. #7
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    Nice vid. Value betting is so important to maximize bb/100.
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgia View Post
    Nice vid. Value betting is so important to maximize bb/100.
    yes it is sir.... what client you playing on?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeldPhaser View Post
    yes it is sir.... what client you playing on?
    BCP, you?
  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra_1878 View Post
    This is something I know about, yet don't implement it anywhere near as much as I should. So many times I just bet the exact same when I am bluffing, when I have a strong hand, against a fish, against a reg etc etc.

    Question: In the first example, would we not want to bet bigger to protect our hand from being outdrawn? A set isn't exactly invincible on that board and we are also OOP. I think I would usually bet between $3.25-$3.50 here

    If that's way off, can someone explain why please?
    When I watched the vid, my first instinct on bet sizing was $1.75-$2.25.

    You can't always be afraid of being drawn out, or "making his draws pay". Look at it this way, if he has a FD, he's probably gonna call down or jam or do something silly anyhow, so if we're gonna lose to a flush we'll probably lose to a flush either way. But betting this way lets him spazz jam JTo, 9T, 8x, low pairs - hands that would have folded had we bet bigger.

    Betting big here, with his stack, to make his flush draws pay, is like saying we should bet big to make his A8 pay so he can't spike his Ace. A8 will call/get in regardless of what sizing we use, and so will FD's, so we have to choose a sizing that maximizes the money we make from worse hands.
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  11. #11
    What Griffey said. Betting too hard because you're afraid of the possible draws he could conceivably have, makes you leave a lot of value on the table. Top players also have no problem with slowplaying strong hands on dangerous boards if that's what maximizes their value.
  12. #12
    I can see both of your points, I think it's something I have to work on. I do worry, probably too much, about my 2P/sets being outdrawn and I am probably losing a lot of money playing them this way.

    Thanks guys
    Currently grinding live cash games. Life is good.
  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffey24 View Post
    When I watched the vid, my first instinct on bet sizing was $1.75-$2.25.

    You can't always be afraid of being drawn out, or "making his draws pay". Look at it this way, if he has a FD, he's probably gonna call down or jam or do something silly anyhow, so if we're gonna lose to a flush we'll probably lose to a flush either way. But betting this way lets him spazz jam JTo, 9T, 8x, low pairs - hands that would have folded had we bet bigger.

    Betting big here, with his stack, to make his flush draws pay, is like saying we should bet big to make his A8 pay so he can't spike his Ace. A8 will call/get in regardless of what sizing we use, and so will FD's, so we have to choose a sizing that maximizes the money we make from worse hands.
    Your avatar is terribly distracting lol.
  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgia View Post
    Your avatar is terribly distracting lol.
    You don't get out much.
  15. #15
    Jyms stop being nasty to new members!
  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgia View Post
    Your avatar is terribly distracting lol.
    Haha that's funny, cause my avtar is from ages ago. I don't even have avtars on anymore, cause I browse at work, so I don't even remember what she looks like
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay-Z
    I'm a couple hands down and I'm tryin' to get back
    I gave the other grip, I lost a flip for five stacks
  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by ImSavy View Post
    Jyms stop being nasty to new members!
    Like that is going to happen.
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    No worries. I "get out" plenty.
  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra_1878 View Post
    I can see both of your points, I think it's something I have to work on. I do worry, probably too much, about my 2P/sets being outdrawn and I am probably losing a lot of money playing them this way.

    Thanks guys
    When we're learning to beat the micro's we're taught to price out draws so our opponents will be making a mistake when they call. We still want them to call, but at a price that is -ev for them. The problem is we see a board like this and our first thought is to price out the draws, when there's more to it than that. Villains range isn't only fd's. We need to decide how much of his range consists of draws and how much value we can get from the rest of his continuing range. If pricing out the draw means folding everything else we beat then we may be losing a lot of value vs his non drawing hands. If by betting smaller we can get more value from the rest of his range when he doesn't hit than we lose when he does, not to mention the times we boat up, then we should be betting smaller.
    “Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

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    start using your brain more and vagina less

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  20. #20
    Griffey and supa brought up a good point about not being worried about draws, because they are not a large part of villain's range. I'd like to elaborate that we should especially not worry about draws in this specific hand because the stacks behind are not deep. Any draws that people play tend to have more value when there are huge implied odds. When you call a 3/4 pot bet OTF with a FD and big stacks behind, you're not doing it because the pot odds are super-good, really, you're doing it for implied odds. With stacks setup the way they are in the hand, villain doesn't really have the huge implied odds that he would have if stacks were deeper. I'm not, of course, suggesting that the odds aren't there for him to call a small bet with a FD; I'm just stating that his EV, although positive, is LESS positive than if we had 6 or 7 times the pot behind. So when you are deciding if the value you get from his garbage by betting small outweighs the pot + implied odds you are giving him, the situation changes drastically depending on stack size. Or, to look at it another way, let's look at the odds we're giving villain, assuming we stack off 2/3 of the time he hits (remember he doesn't know we have a monster; we are gonna bluff cbet the flop sometimes and fold turn). The total pot + implied odds we're giving when we bet $2.25 into this $5.75 pot with $9 left after villain's call is ($2.25 + $5.75 + $9 * .67)/$2.25 = ~6.2-1. A profitable call for villain with his FDs and OESDs? Yes, surely. But what if stacks were deeper and we were gonna stack off to the tune of $15 remaining in our stack 2/3 of the time? ($2.25 + $5.75 + $15 * .67)/$2.25 = 8-1. Even though both calls are +EV, one is hugely more +EV than the other due to implied odds. This feeds back into your bet-sizing balancing act of "How much value can I get from his garbage vs how much EV does he gain with his draws?" and in the case of short stacks, the first part of that equation assumes more importance, since the second part doesn't hurt you as much.

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