Beginner's Guide to Poker Betting
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Beginner's Guide to Poker Betting

Beginner's Guide to Poker Betting

Poker is one of the most exciting card games ever invented. Although it's generally mixed with games of chance, poker involves a skill component where all its magic lies. 

For example, in Blackjack, betting is effortless as all you have to do is to decide how much you want to risk, but in poker, as you play against other players rather than the house, each bet has a different meaning. In this short article, we take a quick tour across the most popular poker bets, although if you want to study further, visit 888Poker to read a full guide on how to bet in poker.

Why do you bet?

Before you bet, you will need to think about what the purpose of that bet is. For example, if you want the villain to call you or avoid a big raise from him, you can make a blocking bet, which consists of placing a small bet compared to the size of the pot.

But, if the board is dangerous and you want to protect your hand from a possible draw, you must bet enough money so that the villain remains in error during the hand. You can also bet to get information about a particular player giving you a hard time finding out what he is doing or what pair of cards he has.

Overall, before betting, you'll need to have a strategy, which led us to another question: how much to bet?

Bet sizing: how much to bet?

Bet sizing in poker is an art. It has so many variables that mastering it is a crucial step to becoming a successful player.

Before the flop, bets are related to your position at the table, the insight you have of your opponents, and of course, previous actions. For example, if you have identified a weak player in the blinds, you must raise or make 3-bet larger to force him to fold. It's also a good idea to place bigger bets when you are out of position.

After the flop, everything correlates with the pot size. A small bet is about 20%-40% of the pot size, while a large one is up to 80%. So, how do you choose how much to bet?

Several articles could be written about this subject, and if we add another term: stack-to-pot ratio, it will become very complicated. However, as a general strategy, you can bet small on the dry board textures (which is, without possible draws to flush or straights, for example) and big on the opposite boards. You also need to control the size of the pot so that you don't compromise all you stack with unsuitable hands.

Last but not least, your hand also affects the bet sizing. Let's say you have the best possible hand, known as the nuts. You want to make bets that your opponents will call, so you make the most of your hand. And, if the villain is not very aggressive, you can try to bluff him with a mid-sized bet on tricky boards.

Placing the right bets is crucial to any poker journey. Although this guide is cursory, it should encourage new players to dig deeper into this before hitting the tables.


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