Betting strategies

On this page you can read about a number of different betting strategies that you should know when playing poker

Continuation Bet

poker chipsThe continuation bet is an essential tool that all poker players should have in their repertoire. The continuation bet is primarily used on the flop. (although it can be used on the turn and river as well). The continuation bet is a bet that you make regardless of whether you hit the flop or not. You do this when you have been betting pre-flop and want to continue to indicate strength. The goal here is to get your opponents to fold in the belief that you have a strong hand.

A continuation bet should normally be worth 60-75% of the pot.

Double barrelling

Double barrelling is when you make a second continuation bet on the turn. This is seldom a good idea unless you have at least some equity in the pot.

The float

The float is a bluff that is used as a counter to the continuation bet. It is used over two betting rounds. You start by calling the continuation bet and then bet big on the turn after your opponent have checked. Your bet should be worth 75% of the pot or more.

This is an advanced technique and should not be used too frequently. It is usually not a good idea in hands with more than 2 players.

Check Raise

chipsThe check raise is another basic tool that all players should know. The check raise is a controversial move that are sometimes seen as dishonest. I personally feel that it adds an extra level to the game and make it more challenging, more interesting.

The check raise is exactly what it sounds like. It is as the name suggest when you check with a good hand in the hope that another player is going to bet. If they do then you raise when the action comes back to you. This helps you get as much money into the pot as possible.

It is also a very strong tool to use when bluffing. If you want to bluff then the tool is best used when you have a draw or a marginal hand. It should only be used to bluff on small pots.

3Bet

The 3Bet can be a very strong tool if used correctly. The 3Bet is primarily used before the flop and primarily in a late position. The 3Bet is just what the name implies. It is a technique where you raise the pot to 3 times the highest bet. If an opponent raised the pot to 6 then you would 3bet it by raising to 18.

3Bet is indicating a very strong hand such as AA, KK or AK. In most cases your opponents will fold and you get the hand. If they call then you have a strong position on the flop. A large continuation bet is recommended (75% of the pot) regardless of whether you hit the flop or not. The opponents will usually choose to get out of the pot.

A very strong variation of this bet is the lite 3Bet, the lite 3Bet is when you 3Bet with a weaker hand such as small suited connectors. This way you will indicate a very strong hand that is very different from what you are actually holding. If a high flop fold than you can bet into it to indicate that you hit it with the type of hand your opponent is expecting you to have. If the flop contains smaller cards than you are able to build a hand that the opponent never is going to expect you to have. Hitting a good flop with suited connectors after a 3bet can be extremely profitable as the opponent will be blind to your actual hand.

Never 3Bet with a medium hand. Such KQ, KJ, QJ and so on. The risk is too big that you will loose the hand even if you hit the flop

The semi-bluff

The Semi bluff is a betting technique that is used to avoid many of the risks associated with straight bluffs. Many players loose money on their bluffs. Every time a bluff get called you will see your chip count go down. The Semi-bluff eliminates this problem and allow you to gain value.

A semi -bluff is a bluff where you bet with a draw or a marginal hand. Even if you get called you have a chance of hitting your next card to get a winning hand.

The semi-bluff should be used in relation to the equity you have in the hand. Your equity is your theoretical chance to win. If you have a equity of more than 50% then you should always bet using a semi bluff despite the fact that you have nothing. The more money you can get into the pot the more you will win over time.

The lower equity you have in the pot the higher the risk associated with the semi-bluff. Try to only semi-bluff hand where you have a decent chance of completing your hand. You should always place your equity in relation to how many players that are left. The more players that are left in the game the lower equity you can have and still semi-bluff.

Squeeze bet

A squeeze bet is a bet you make against loose players in an attempt to take down the pot uncontested. The squeeze is used when one player has bet and one or several players have called that bet. In this situation you make a large raise to force the loose players to fold. A Squeeze bet needs to be an aggressive bet. A suitable raise is usually 4 times the original bet. The squeeze bet is most suitable for players with a tight table image.

Blocking bet

The blocking bet is a bet that no longer works as good as it once did. The goal with the blocking bet is to get to see the next card at a lower price than what it would cost if you allow your opponent to lead the betting. The goal is to make a small bet to get to opponent to call this bet rather than bet big. The idea is that it is better to make a small bet than having to make a large call.

Stop and Go

The stop and go is a technique used by short stacked players in tournaments. The stop and go takes place during two betting rounds. Pre-flop and flop. This is a technique that you use on a hand where you have decided to go all in. Instead of going all in pre-flop you call the flop and go all in on the flop regardless of whether you hit the flop or not. I generally do not recommend this technique.