Sports & Gaming

Bet Sizing

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 07:04 min

Daniel explains the subtle art of bet sizing and teaches you how to maximize value while minimizing risk.

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Topics include: Value Bets • Make Smaller Bets on Dry Boards • Bet the Lowest Possible Amount When Trying to Steal Pots • Keep Bet Sizing Consistent.Look for Subtleties in Your Opponent’s Bet Sizing


So what exactly is a value bet? Now a value bet, traditionally, is something that you think of on the river, the flop, the turn, or something along those lines. But, essentially, every bet you make is going to be a value bet before the flop. So when you raise with aces before the flop, you're making a bet hoping to attain some value from your opponents. Now on the flop when you feel like you have the best hand, and you want your opponent to call, that would be a value bet. The opposite of that would be a bluff. And somewhere in the middle is betting on the come, a situation where you have a draw where you're looking to either hit the hand or win the pot with a fold. Now, on the river, you're pretty much down to just two options. You're either value betting or you're bluffing. And you want to be clear about what you're doing. A lot of times, I see players in a pot on the river where they have bottom pair, and they're like-- they bet. And they're not really sure what they're doing. They're like, are you betting that is a bluff? Are you betting that because you want your opponent to call? You should always be well aware before you make a bet is this a value bet or is this a bluff. There's no such thing as a value bluff. OK? You might hear that term. I was value bluffing. No, you weren't. You just didn't know what you were doing. What you've noticed over the last 10, 15 years is bet sizing has gone way, way down on really dry boards, and there's a clear reason for this. So when a board like, again, the dry boards that we described, like Ace, 7, deuce or deuce, deuce, 3 or queen, 6, deuce, something along those lines, on those very dry boards, your opponent is either going to hit or they're going to miss. So, essentially, this is a small ball sort of situation where if a small bet works the same as a larger bet, generally speaking, because both of you are not going to have much, the smaller sizing is going to work. And we've seen a further extreme of that where players are really downsizing because, again, there's not a lot of fear or worry about your opponent drawing out on you. There's no draw there. It's ace, 7, deuce. They either have the best hand, or you have the best hand. There's not going to be a situation where it's like 8, 9, 10 with two spades. That's a very draw heavy board where a lot of turn cards can come to cost you the pot. On an ace, 7, deuce, there's not many turn cards that are going to be very, very scary on a board like that. As we've already established, I mean, after the flop, you're usually not going to have a really strong hand. If you have ace, king, you're big underdog to actually flop a pair. You're going to have nothing more often than not. So because of that, when you are c-betting, you're generally going to be c-betting with the hopes of actually winning the pot right there. So let's say, for example, you raise with jack, nine of Hearts on the button and the flop comes king, 7, deuce. We'll use t...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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