One of the most common mistakes that the players make in a poker is the size of the bet, which is a key skill in Texas Hold’em. The ability to correctly size your bets so as to manipulate the gameplay, comes with the experience in playing poker.
This mistake is no doubt, commonly made by new players who bet too much or too less. The players at lower stakes also struggle with this issue. They make fundamental pre-flop mistakes, either by bet sizing or hand selection, and later on in the hand it puts them into all sorts of terrible spots. These are bad situations that professional poker players never get themselves involved in the first place.
The ability to make the correct size of bets is something that differentiates between a skilled poker player and a random poker player. Improper bet sizing makes it clear to the other players that you are either a new player or an unskilled player, which will prove to be an advantage for the other poker players.
The best advice for the beginners would be, to raise three times the big blind (BB), plus one big blind for every limper in the pot. If it folds to you, raising three times the big blind is often enough to ensure the field of players doesn’t grow too large.
It is also important to note that it is much easier to play against fewer hands and if you don’t increase the size of your bet when limpers are involved then you’re effectively inviting a whole heap of trouble after the flop. While many new players bet too less, it is also evident that new players sometimes bet too much by raising 5-6x times the size of the blinds when you are the first to enter the hand in a game.
The size of your bet often allows the other players to be able to study what kind of cards you have, and that is why it is important for you not to give any hints in your play, both pre-flop and after the flop. If you want to prevent being readable, you should try to implement these two kind of tactics i.e,
- Randomly vary the size of your bet.
- Keep betting the same increment every time.
The reason why you would vary your bet sizes is to make sure that your opponents will not be able to catch up and also to keep them guessing your gameplay. At the same time, that is also the goal of staying consistent. If you bet the same amount whether you have a hand or are bluffing, your bluffs are more believable and your opponents will not be able to predict what kind of cards you have in your hands.
It is always important to adjust your bet sizing depending on the situation. Being consistent in the size of your bet makes it more difficult for the opponents to be able to guess accurately, hence gaining the advantage of being unpredictable. If you have a good hand, and you feel that your opponents do not have good hands than yours, it is always good to bet 3/4th of the pot while making a bet.