Daniel Negreanu Ė Tip of the Week
I'd like to introduce the five-times-the-big-blind-rule to you. It's basically as simple as it sounds.
You should be raising five times whatever the big blind is. If the blinds are $25/$50, and you are the first one to enter the pot, you should raise the bet to $250 if you decide to play the hand. What this maneuver will do is give you a chance to really protect your hand by making your opponents pay a heavy price to see the flop.
Strangely enough, it's the exact opposite advice I'd give to an advanced player.
For the advanced player, I'd recommend raising to just two and a half to three times the big blind. Why? It's simple. A more skilled player makes better decisions after the flop than does a novice. So, as a beginning player, you want to see fewer flops for that very reason.
Try not to let a more experienced player get to the flop because his skill advantage will then come into play. Your edge, as a rookie, will come from starting with stronger hands and betting them more aggressively before the flop.
Now what if someone else has called the big blind in front of you? Well, the fives times rule now becomes the seven-times-rule. If a player limps in for $50, you'd want to make it even more expensive to see the flop by making it $350. This betting system isn't without it's holes, mind you, but it will help less experienced players avoid getting involved in too many complex decisions after the flop.
Always remember the general theory: If a hand isn't good enough to raise with, then you should fold it.