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Size matters. Everything you need to know to choose the best bet size

4 rules to choose a perfect size of the bet

Choosing the right size of the bet in No Limit Holdem may become a true headache. How to choose between half-pot, pot-size, and overbet? Does it matter at all?

The short answer is yes. Size does matters. If you don’t want to be the standing clock that shows the right time only twice a day, don’t use the same sizing every time. Sometimes to extract the greatest value you are to put an overbet, sometimes ¼ of the pot is more than enough.

If your bet size is still random, this article is for you. Let's try to puzzle out how it works together.

Here we go!

Small bet (35% and less)

The perfect setting for a small bet is a dry uncoordinated board.

If you have a strong ready hand, there is no necessity to protect it. The difference in equities is just so big, that even calling of ¼ pot-bet is unprofitable for your rival.

If you have no ready hand small bet is a still good idea. Versus a certain type of players, small bets work as good as big ones. Why risk more if you can reach the same goal with a smaller bet?

Small sizing is the easiest way to exploit «fit-or-fold» players. Those, who go on only when they hit a flop. You win the same percent of pots and save money when they do hit.

Bet Small on Dry Board

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Large bet (55 – 80%)

If the board is wet and your hand is vulnerable, increase the size of the bet. You do it to protect the hand, get more value from the hands that somehow hit the board, and make the opponent pay for the chance to see the next card.

If you do it for bluff, the bigger sizing generates more fold-equity. In other words, bigger bet looks stronger, bluff looks more probable, as a result, it gets more folds.

Bet Bigger on Dangerous Boards


This abbreviation stands for stack-to-pot-ratio. It is easy to calculate. Divide the size of the stack by pot-size and you will get your SPR. Think about this number when you choose the size of the bet.

The common mistake is over-betting on the flop and turn. As a result, the river bet in comparison to pot-size turns to be too small and bluff works worse. If your stack is less than half-pot on the river, you bluff will not work. Prepare river bet well in advance. Think about it on the flop. Or maybe even preflop.

Prepare river bet in advance

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Overbets work better on the boards that fit your range. Pros call it range advantage. It means that the previous action and the board opened, make the chance that you have a strong hand higher.

If you plan to overbet, the range should be polarized. It means it should be made either of super strong hands or vice versa of pure bluffs. The purpose of the overbet is either get maximum value from nuts or add maximum fold-equity to your bluff. Let opponent guessing.

The best overbet bluff is bluff with blockers. Blockers are the cards that make the chances of the opponent having a strong hand less. If you have K4o, it becomes less likely, that your rival has AK or KK. As a result, the chance that you will get call becomes less.

A good spot to try an overbet bluff is the board with 3 suited cards when you have a blocker to nut-flush.

Check out an example.

The board is . What hand is bet for bluff  or ? Right. The first one. It has a blocker to a nut flush. It means that the best hand your opponent can have is second nut flush. In case of an overbet, even the suited diamond kings turn into bluff-catchers. also makes the chance that your opponent has two diamonds much less. Thus, the chance this bluff will work is higher.

Consider Blockers and Polarize Overbets

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