Online Poker

Poker Tournament Bet Sizing

by Jeremy

Whether they know it or not, every poker tournament player undergoes the process of bet sizing. But not every player understands exactly what they’re doing - nor do they properly size bets in poker tournaments. Unfortunately, if you’re not correctly sizing raises and reraises, you’ll have trouble extracting maximum value from good hands, and also bluffing players when trying to steal pots. Since poker tournament bet sizing is so important, let’s take a few moments to discuss this concept.

Get a 100% match deposit bonus up to $600 at Carbon Poker - US players welcome

Are you Value Betting or Bluffing?

The first concept worth understanding with bet sizing in poker tournaments is knowing the difference between value betting and bluffing. Simply put, value betting is when you feel that you’re ahead in a hand, and you try to extract maximum value from that hand. In other words, you want to get paid as much as possible from your opponent(s) without them folding. So if you think that the most an opponent will call is a two-thirds pot-size raise when you’re ahead, don’t bet anymore than this.

As for bluffing, the point of this is to get opponents to fold their hand when you have weaker holdings. Going further, you should only put out the minimum amount of chips that you think it will take to get your opponent to fold (in case they call). For instance, if your opponent has been folding to pot-sized raises, you should make this bet size in order to steal a hand from them.

Knowing your Opponents

You’ve probably heard a million times that poker is about those you play against, rather than about the cards. And nowhere is this more true than with bet sizing, where your knowledge of opponents will dictate your success.

This being said, it’s imperative that you study your tourney opponents closely so you have more information on them when value betting and bluffing. A good practice for doing this is to try to guess opponents’ cards during each hand; obviously you’ll miss these guesses a lot, but the key is to define a range of hands that your opponent might have. Assuming you have success here, you’ll be much closer to making properly-sized bets in the future.

    blog comments powered by Disqus