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How Much Should You Bet?


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#1 DanielNegreanu

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:27 PM

People who read up on Texas Hold'em first learn the hands that are strong enough to play. Most every poker book goes into detail explaining premium hands such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, A-K, as well as marginal starters like 8-8, 9-9 and A-Q.However, knowing what cards to start with is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how to effectively play No Limit Hold'em.Frankly, it's the easy part.The real trick to playing this game for profit is learning how much to bet on those hands in various situations. Knowing what cards to play won't be very useful if you continually misplay them by betting the wrong amount.Betting the right amount is dictated by your skill level.A novice player should make larger bets than a professional. With blinds at 100-200, I'd recommend that a beginner raise anywhere from 800 to 1,000 chips when he decides to play. An experienced player would be better off raising 500 to 600.The reason is simple: A novice has a much better chance to win the pot before the flop rather than after it. A player with tons of experience would rather see a flop cheaply and make key decisions after the flop.Let's look at an example where a professional would fare better after the flop than a novice.Suppose the beginner holds J-J and raises to 600 before the flop. Three other players call him, and the flop comes Q-7-4. This is a situation where he can get into trouble. While the pocket jacks started out as a strong hand, the flopped queen is a danger card. If someone holds K-Q or A-Q, the jacks will be in bad shape.So how should you proceed?Well, an experienced player is better equipped to read his opponents and make an informed decision. If the veteran were holding the jacks, he'd likely know whether they were still strong. The beginner, though, would be in no-man's land.An advanced player may decide to check and see what develops. He might even make a small, feeler bet -- about a third of the pot.For beginners, I'd recommend a large bet to define opponents' hands. If there's 2,700 in the middle, go ahead and bet the whole pot.Until a beginner really knows what he's doing, I'd advise that he make those large raises -- four to five times the amount of the big blind -- before the flop. His post-flop bets should be the size of the pot.Ideally, though, the goal is to become experienced enough to make smaller bets. That is the most effective strategy.For those of you ready to take that next step, it's time to think about what your bet is accomplishing. Because you and your opponents will miss the flop a high percentage of the time, most of your post-flop bets should be made to obtain valuable information.Let's say, for example, you hold 9-9, and raise to 600. The big blind is the only caller. The flop comes A-7-4 and the big blind checks to you.Even though the ace is a huge scare card, making a bet here will accomplish two things: You'll protect your hand if you're ahead, and you'll also define your opponent's hand.A small bet of 200 simply won't give you enough information; your opponent will call such a small bet with a wide variety of hands. Now, if you bet the pot, 1,300, you'll definitely get the information you're looking for.But is it necessary to risk that much? If you bet 1,100, wouldn't you get that same information? Yes, you sure would. So, make an assertive yet careful bet, something like 900 -- approximately two-thirds of the pot.By betting about two-thirds of the pot, instead of the entire amount, you'll save a little bit of money on your bluff attempts. It will also define your opponent's hand. As a bonus, you'll get extra calls when you do catch a monster hand.(If you enjoyed this piece, please send an e-mail or a letter to your local newspaper and tell them you want Daniel Negreanu's column in your newspaper).
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#2 Derswick

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 02:41 AM

DN we already get your rticles in the Vancouver Sun/Province. I look forward to the reads.
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#3 dereeekho

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 07:09 AM

View PostDerswick, on Sunday, August 27th, 2006, 3:41 AM, said:

DN we already get your rticles in the Vancouver Sun/Province. I look forward to the reads.
Wow the Sun/Province carries DN's articles now? I shall get a subscription once I am back.
QUOTE(no not baxter @ Monday, July 28th, 2008, 4:22 PM) View Post
wait, let me get this right. you folded aces up?

#4 Actuary

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 09:14 AM

obviously, this is a tourney?one word:postionstackstexturepay out structure.but I like these and thanks!

#5 Sefaje

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 01:57 PM

i dont want the newspaper giving all the people around here daniel's articles.:club:

#6 leducks2004

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 07:21 PM

nice work DN

#7 Poker Orifice

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 09:58 PM

View PostDanielNegreanu, on Sunday, August 27th, 2006, 12:27 AM, said:

People who read up on Texas Hold'em first learn the hands that are strong enough to play. Most every poker book goes into detail explaining premium hands such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, A-K, as well as marginal starters like 8-8, 9-9 and A-Q.However, knowing what cards to start with is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding how to effectively play No Limit Hold'em.Frankly, it's the easy part.The real trick to playing this game for profit is learning how much to bet on those hands in various situations. Knowing what cards to play won't be very useful if you continually misplay them by betting the wrong amount.Betting the right amount is dictated by your skill level.A novice player should make larger bets than a professional. With blinds at 100-200, I'd recommend that a beginner raise anywhere from 800 to 1,000 chips when he decides to play. An experienced player would be better off raising 500 to 600.The reason is simple: A novice has a much better chance to win the pot before the flop rather than after it. A player with tons of experience would rather see a flop cheaply and make key decisions after the flop.Let's look at an example where a professional would fare better after the flop than a novice.Suppose the beginner holds J-J and raises to 600 before the flop. Three other players call him, and the flop comes Q-7-4. This is a situation where he can get into trouble. While the pocket jacks started out as a strong hand, the flopped queen is a danger card. If someone holds K-Q or A-Q, the jacks will be in bad shape.So how should you proceed?Well, an experienced player is better equipped to read his opponents and make an informed decision. If the veteran were holding the jacks, he'd likely know whether they were still strong. The beginner, though, would be in no-man's land.An advanced player may decide to check and see what develops. He might even make a small, feeler bet -- about a third of the pot.For beginners, I'd recommend a large bet to define opponents' hands. If there's 2,700 in the middle, go ahead and bet the whole pot.Until a beginner really knows what he's doing, I'd advise that he make those large raises -- four to five times the amount of the big blind -- before the flop. His post-flop bets should be the size of the pot.Ideally, though, the goal is to become experienced enough to make smaller bets. That is the most effective strategy.For those of you ready to take that next step, it's time to think about what your bet is accomplishing. Because you and your opponents will miss the flop a high percentage of the time, most of your post-flop bets should be made to obtain valuable information.Let's say, for example, you hold 9-9, and raise to 600. The big blind is the only caller. The flop comes A-7-4 and the big blind checks to you.Even though the ace is a huge scare card, making a bet here will accomplish two things: You'll protect your hand if you're ahead, and you'll also define your opponent's hand.A small bet of 200 simply won't give you enough information; your opponent will call such a small bet with a wide variety of hands. Now, if you bet the pot, 1,300, you'll definitely get the information you're looking for.But is it necessary to risk that much? If you bet 1,100, wouldn't you get that same information? Yes, you sure would. So, make an assertive yet careful bet, something like 900 -- approximately two-thirds of the pot.By betting about two-thirds of the pot, instead of the entire amount, you'll save a little bit of money on your bluff attempts. It will also define your opponent's hand. As a bonus, you'll get extra calls when you do catch a monster hand.(If you enjoyed this piece, please send an e-mail or a letter to your local newspaper and tell them you want Daniel Negreanu's column in your newspaper).


#8 Nimue1995

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:00 PM

Nice article. I consider myself a novice yet. But for some reason I feel more comfortable with aggressive play post-flop.
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#9 banksa

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 09:42 AM

nice read dn
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#10 jday561

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:49 PM

thanks for that article, DN... always love reading 'em

#11 David_Nicoson

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 06:55 PM

How's the book coming?
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#12 gtycoon

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 04:41 PM

I think this is one of my main mistakes I tend to make. Not betting enough sometimes or betting too much other times.Thanks for sharing Daniel ;-)
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#13 htk450

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:38 PM

[DN! i am a big fan of yours. I was in truckee, ca last summer when I decided to learn poker. I picked up your book and i enjoyed it. right now i really want to go pro in 5 years, what advice do you have for someone like me?

#14 dlm

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:46 PM

That is really good advice but it seems only to pertain to tournaments that include Pros. Most general poker players like myself do not play with Pros. I play online, with friends, local tournaments, limited stakes in Vegas, and sometimes a Vegas tournament (which is usually just a couple hundred dollar buy in) I generally use my own system in these situations to get to know the players. I wait and observe who is aggressive or who uses the shadows to hide and then pounce, etc. I think good advice for any person learning to play poker would be experience. Start small, very small and go bigger with experience. I have been playing poker for many years, I am not a pro or high limit player but when my mind is set and I am playing to win, I play as if it were a million even if it is just a couple hundred dollars. Learning the positions is important but finding your own system and comfort is just as important IMO.

#15 mrpossum

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 05:48 AM

I was just wondering though would this make it easier for your opponents read on you easier ? Since it would be like a raise with a tight range of best hands.Just wondering though since i do know that its best to vary your betting pattern.

#16 fireball

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:09 PM

View Postmrpossum, on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008, 8:48 AM, said:

I was just wondering though would this make it easier for your opponents read on you easier ? Since it would be like a raise with a tight range of best hands.Just wondering though since i do know that its best to vary your betting pattern.
I don't have any problems with being an easy read. If you are still learning and don't always know what you are doing you tend to be very unpredictable! :club: Thanks for the article...I need all the help I can get!

#17 cnc41729

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:44 PM

K K LOOK IN THESE INTERNET TOURNY RAISING 4 5 6 TIMES BB IS VERY VERY VERY WRONG I MEAN LET ME EXPLAIN IF YOU GOT 30 BB'S YOU CANT RAISE 4 OF THEM AN FOLD DEEP IN THE TOURNY'S EARLY IN THE TOURNY'S BLINDS ARE LOW YOU CAN DO IT RAISE 4 TIMES 3 5 6 WHAT EVERY BUT WHEN THE ANTES START AN YOUR GOING 2 HAVE 30 OR 40 BBS YOU SHOULD RAIS IT 2 AN HALF THE BB SAY BLINDS ARE 500 AN 1000 THIS BET IS VERY VERY GOOD 1210 ANYTHANG LIKE THAT IT WORKS I SWEAR IT DOES DANIEL IS VERY VERY GOOD BUT HOW MANY INTERNET TOURNY'S HAS HE WON YOU CANT BET 5000 THEN FOLD LEAVING YOURSELF WITH 25 THAT'S STUPID AN WHEN YOU GET AROUND 20 YOU SHOULD'N'T RAISE AT ALL YOU SHOULD DO NOTHING BUT GO ALL IN OR FOLD

#18 DemonDonk

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:15 AM

Isn't betting to define your opponents just leaking chips?
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#19 PokerPiper

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 04:59 AM

Great read! Thanks :club:

#20 jamax

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 03:35 AM

Nice article! Thanks for that! I consider myself a novice and I'm just getting started. I found another article that goes on about similar stuff and poker skills. Maybe this is also of interest to you guys.




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