********** Hand 1 **********

Known players: (for a description of vp$ip, pfr, ats, folded bb, af, wts, wsd or hands click here) 

0.10/0.25 No-Limit Hold'em (3 handed)
Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grab'em by www.pokerstrategy.org.uk.

Preflop: Hero is BB with 9:heart: , 9:club:
BU raises to $0.50, SB calls, Hero calls.

Flop: ($1.50) A:club: , J:diamond: , 9:diamond: (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $1.50, BU calls, SB folds.

Turn: ($4.50) 8:heart: (2 players)
Hero bets $4.30, BU calls.

River: ($13.10) T:heart: (2 players)
Hero ??

The first hand addresses the topic of blockbet.
There was a point of dispute in the discussion of this NL25 SH hand regarding the rive. Is check/call or check/fold the better variant, or should one play block bet/fold. First, I will explain the (dis)advantages of a block bet:

easy fold to a raise = easy decision
worse hands will give up value
relatively small price to see the showdown
retain control/initiative
--> signals less weakness

busted draws can easily fold/ bluff bets from Villain are not possible
--> lose value against weaker hands
often interpreted as weakness
--> leads to bluffs from Villain/ can easily be exploited.

Since we want to concentrate on block bets, we'll assume that all streets up to the river went according to standard procedure.
Hero now faces the following situation: the river is the worst possible card. The board is 4-connected and can easily have completed Villain's straight draw.
Furthermore, we have shown strength throughout the hand but a check will make it clear even to poor players that we don't like this card and we are ready to fold to a legitimate bet.
If villain has a flush draw, he can bluff us out of the hand with nothing but air. A check will open us up to an easy attack.
A look at Villain's AF makes it clear that he will probably raise only better hands. Whether this is enough for a bet is difficult to say since our check, as we have said, is obviously very weak. A raise would take a lot more balls.

From this, we decide in favor of a block bet.
It will be difficult for villain to move us off the better hand, since for a standard low limit player a bet is generally interpreted as strength and a check as weakness.
The reason why block bets are used so much less on higher limits is that this point can easily be exploited. Good thinking players will immediately identify block bets as such and will use these as much as possible. Such moves are made less often on lower limits so we don't have to worry about being bluffed out of the hand by a raise and can generally fold without too much thought.

A bet of $4 and an easy fold to a raise is the line that is likely optimal for this limit. It must be noted, though, that even on higher limits (up to ~NL100) few players can exploit block bets. A block bet is especially a good alternative to c/c against passive players (up to a certain size of bet from Villain), or c/f since we can make an easy fold to a raise.

********** Hand 2-3 **********

Die zweiten beiden Hände sollen dienen, um das Thema Raisegröße zu erläutern. Dazu habe ich 2 Hände aus etwas höheren Limits gewählt, wodurch auch deutlich wird, dass leicht vermeidbare Fehler selbst von erfahrenen Spielern gemacht werden.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $ BB (4 handed) pokerhand.org hand converter

Hero ($848.74)
SB ($629.25)
BB ($396)
UTG ($977.40)

Preflop: Hero is Button with A:spade: , K:spade: . SB posts a blind of $2.
[color:#666666]1 fold[/color], [color:#CC3333]Hero raises to $14[/color], [color:#666666]1 fold[/color], BB calls $10.

Flop: ($30) 5:heart: , A:heart: , K:club: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#CC3333]BB bets $24[/color], [color:#CC3333]Hero raises to $58[/color], BB calls $34.

Turn: ($146) T:club: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
BB checks, [color:#CC3333]Hero bets $100[/color], BB calls $392 (All-In).

Final Pot: $638

Hero hits top two and sees that he is clearly ahead in this hand. Still, it's a bad spot for a slowplay since the board is 2-suited and connected and the board cards could well be within Villain's playing zone. JT, QT, QJ or KQs with a flush draw would have much to easy a time were we to call. So we raise, but by how much?

It occurs to me that some players have difficulty calculating raise size and just go on feeling alone. The $58 raise here is too small, since Villain would get odds of ~3.3:1, which are correct for many draws.
A raise of PS would be appropriate considering all the possible draws. This is calculated thusly: 3 x Villain's bet + Pot = raise by PS. With this raise, Villain will always get odds of ~2:1 for a call.
This would mean a raise here of $102. Since straight draws here would be gutshots and only flush draws must be given such bad odds, a raise of around $90 is usually sufficient.
Such a “large“ raise also brings the advantages of pot building.

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em (NL$200) [color:#0000FF](6 handed)[/color] link

UTG ($203.00)
MP ($205.66)
Hero ($382.14)
Button ($438.84)
SB ($186.60)
BB ($178.98)

Preflop: Hero is CO with J:heart: , Q:spade: .
[color:#666666]1 folds[/color], [color:#CC3333]MP raises to $6.00[/color], Hero calls $6.00, Button calls $6.00, [color:#666666]1 folds[/color], BB calls $4.00.

Flop: ($25.00) Q:club: , 9:diamond: , J:diamond: [color:#0000FF](4 players)[/color]
mp checks [color:#CC3333]MP bets $12.00[/color], [color:#CC3333]Hero raises to $39.00[/color], Button folds, BB folds, MP calls $27.00.

Turn: ($103.00) 7:spade: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
mp checks [color:#CC3333]Hero bets $69.00[/color], MP calls $69.00.

River: ($241.00) A:diamond: [color:#0000FF](2 players)[/color]
[color:#CC3333]MP raises all-in ($91.66)[/color], Hero calls $91.66.

Final Pot: $424.32.

gegner vpip 72 pfr 21 af 1.7 wts 21 170 hände

This is probably the most draw heavy board one could imagine. All draws are possible so we must protect with great prejudice.
Hero can come through with top two, but must protect as much as possible without overbetting.
The raise is once again much too small. Let's use the formula from last hand for a pot size raise: 3 x 12$ + 25$ = 61$.
As we've said, the board is extremely draw heavy so we must raise by the full PS value of $61. Every smaller raise gives Villain odds good enough for a correct call. If he calls correctly, we will usually have made a mistake. If we make a large raise and he still calls, it is he that makes the mistake from which we profit.
It's better to go overboard on the raise than not enough with such extreme drawing potential on the board. This should not lead to overbets, but protection is too often neglected.

Briefly, it should be said that when raises are to be made:
3 x Bet if we want value and don't need much or any protection and Villain's bet is not too small.
Raise by pot size for strong protection.
Raises in between these bounds are beyond the scope of this article.