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StrategyWeekly No Limit

Bet and Raise Sizes (2) - Bet Sizes Postflop

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Bet and Raise Sizes (2) - Bet Sizes Postflop

by MiiWiin

In the first part of this series, we introduced the basic principles behind bet and raise sizing before the flop. Today we will focus on postflop play. For this, we'll look at some example spots and analyse them. Postflop, bet sizes perform a few other tasks.

Options

After the flop there are three main options:

  • Bet
  • Raise (/check/raise) heads-up
  • Raise (/check/raise) multi-way

In this article we will focus entirely the size of your bets.

Bet types

There are many different ways that you can bet postflop:

  • Continuation bet (IP/OOP) / (heads-up/multi-way)
  • Donk bet
  • Position bet
  • Float (bet)
  • Bets in 3-bet pots
  • Bets in squeezed pots
  • Bets in 4-bet pots
BASIC RECOMMENDATIONS

The bet size after the flop should encompass three important factors:

  • Extract maximum value with strong hands
  • Generate as much fold equity as possible with semi-bluffs with as little risk as possible
  • You want to be as unreadable as possible

There are certain recommendations that can serve as a point of reference for your bet sizes. They are influenced by factors which we will take a closer look at further down.

RAISED POTS

In a regular raised pot, a 2/3 pot size bet is a good point of reference (for example by making a contibet).

If you have a good made hand, you will build up the pot. If you want to create fold equity, then this is a good size, which only has to work out 40% of the time.

If you always bet smaller than that, you either miss out on value or you couldn't create enough fold equity with bluffs. The line between a successful and an unsuccessful bluff bet is fluid. If you only invest very little, your bluff has to work out in fewer cases, but the opponents will be less likely to give up if they have good odds.

If you always make huge bets, you will create more fold equity, but your move has to be successful much more often. A 2/3 pot size bet has proven to be a profitable size.

3-BET POTS

Different rules apply to 3-bet pots. The pot is quite big and you should already consider the turn as well. If you make a 2/3 pot size bet on the flop as well as on the turn, you are as good as committed. This would mean that a 2nd barrel bluff would basically no longer be possible.

If you can no longer bet/fold on the turn, your opponents will make fewer mistakes because it'll be easier for them to play against you.

That's why it's better to make a smaller bet on the turn; slightly more than ½ pot size would be ideal. You will still generate fold equity with this bet size, you'll be able to make a 2nd barrel bluff and if you have a very strong hand, it won't be a problem to get your opponent to go all-in, with regular stack sizes.

4-BET POTS

Things get even more heated in a 4-bet pot. Weapon of choice is a kind of minbet here, which should be around 1/3 of the pot size.

Both players have just over one pot size left, making the stack/pot ratio too clearly defined to place a lot more bets. The only option is to bet so small that Villain makes as many mistakes as possible.

If you are worried that this will tempt your opponent into bluff pushes to which you would often have to fold, just remember how often you will be paid out with strong hands.

Differences between preflop and postflop sizing

While there are some simple basic principles to help you out preflop, there are a lot more factors to consider postflop. The following aspects also play a role when considering possible bet sizes just mentioned:

NUMBER OF OPPONENTS

There's a huge difference between playing a heads-up pot or a big multi-way pot. The more opponents there are in the hand, the more potentially dangerous cards there might be out there that have outs against you. Also, you have less fold equity in a multi-way pot. You have to pay attention to this and depending on your hand strength, you might have to increase your bet size accordingly.

OPPONENT TYPES

It is essential to know what kind of opponents you are up against. Should you bluff? Can you make a huge value bet? Do you need to balance your range against this opponent?

If not, you should bet accordingly. Against a stubborn calling station who calls down every hand anyway, you might as well just keep betting rougly pot sizes.

STACK SIZES

In this context, we also need to consider stack sizes. Always consider the coming streets and what you want to achieve there. If you have a very strong hand and are facing a weak opponent and both of you have equal stacks, you should bet pot size on every street instead of over-shoving the river.

YOUR HAND

This should be self-evident. Can you bet for value, should you bluff or are you playing with a draw? You have to analyse each situation individually and then make your decision.

FLOP TEXTURE

Particularly important for the question: Which hands should call, which hands may fold?

If there are many draws out there that your opponent will often call anyway, you should bet big. If there aren't any draws and you put your opponent on a weaker made hand, then bet so that he can just about still call.

POT SIZE

Pot size is an important factor you need to consider, in addition to your opponents and stack sizes. How big is the pot? How much do you have left? The recommendations we have given so far already take these things into account. However, there are various pot sizes you should keep an eye on each time.

In some pots, three regular bets are enough to make the opponent go all-in, in others it's different.

YOUR GOAL

All the points above ultimately contribute to your goal. Where do you stand with your hand and what do you want to achieve?

Always keep in mind that the bet size on the flop is the main factor determining the pot sizes on the turn and the river.

Examples "bets in raised pots"

EXAMPLE 1: PASSIVE BLINDS

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25) (Calling station)
BB ($25) (Calling station)

Preflop: Hero is BU with A, A
3 folds, Hero raises $1.00, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: ($2.10) 4, 4, 7 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $2.10, BB calls $2.10

Turn: ($6.30) J (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $6.00, BB calls $6.00

River: ($18.30) 4 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $15.90 (all-in), BB calls $15.90

You made a big raise (4BB) from the button against two passive blinds. Postflop, you bet close to a pot size and have no problems going all-in.

EXAMPLE 2: DEEP STACKED VS FISH

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25)
Hero ($55)
SB ($60) (calling station)
BB ($55) (calling station)

Preflop: Hero is BU with A, A
3 folds, Hero raises $1.50, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: ($3.10) 4, 4, 7 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4.00, BB calls $4.00

Turn: (11.10) J (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $13.00, BB calls $13.00

River: ($37.10) 4 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $36.50 (All-in), BB calls $36.50

Just adjust the bet sizes. Preflop, you can raise big against opponents like these, you don't have to balance your lines here. Postflop you should bet as much as necessary so you won't have to overbet the river. So you can stack passive players with over two stacks.

EXAMPLE 3: BLIND STEAL VS TAG

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25) (TAG)
BB ($25) (TAG)

Preflop: Hero is BU with 5, 6
3 folds, Hero raises $0.75, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: ($1.60) 4, 4, 7 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $1.10, BB folds

In this standard spot, 2/3 pot size is a good point of reference.

EXAMPLE 4: DRAWY BOARD

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25) (TAG)
BB ($25) (TAG)

Preflop: Hero is BU with 7, 7
3 folds, Hero raises $0.75, 1 fold, BB calls

Flop: ($1.60) 4, 5, 7 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $1.50, BB folds

You have to bet a bit bigger on such a flop because you don't want to give too many drawing hands the chance to see a cheap turn.

One question you have to ask here though: won't this give away the strength of your hand?

That's exactly why you have to pick your bet sizes depending on the board, not your hand. On flops against thinking players (see examples 3 and 4), you can always bet this size, no matter if you have the nuts, a medium made hand, a bluff or a draw. That way, you make it difficult for your opponents to read you.

EXAMPLE 5: MULTI-WAY

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
Hero ($25)
BU ($25) (TAG)
SB ($25) (Calling station)
BB ($25) (Calling station)

Preflop: Hero is CO with 5, 5
2 folds, Hero raises $1.00, BU calls, SB calls, BB calls

Flop: ($4.00) 4, 5, J (2 players)
SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $4.00, 2 folds, BB calls $4.00

Turn: ($12.00) J (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $6.00, ...

Always keep your goal in mind. There are lots of opponents still in the hand on the flop, there are lots of outs against you, you want to protect and extract value. You should place a pot size bet here.

On the turn, you find yourself in a heads-up situation and you are in position against a passive opponent. There's nothing left to protect against, with a ½ pot size bet there'll only be ½ a pot still remaining. So you can adjust your bet size accordingly.

Again: if you think your opponent will call just about any draw "against all odds", but won't ever bluff on the river, you can bet bigger.

Examples "bets in 3-bet pots"

EXAMPLE 6:

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25) (TAG)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25)
BB ($25)

Preflop: Hero is BU with K, A
2 folds, CO raises $0.75, Hero raises $2.50 2 fold, CO calls

Flop: ($5.25) 3, 7, A (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $2.60, BB calls $2.60

Turn: ($10.35) 3 (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $5.60, BB...

This is a standard spot for a 3-bet pot. Your bet will certainly create fold equity because your opponent has to realise that the river could be an all-in situation. On the turn, you could bet/fold as a pure bluff, the bet sizes haven't committed you to the pot. However, if he calls on the river, you could easily go all-in.

EXAMPLE 7:

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25) (type calling station, loose-passive)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25)
BB ($25)

Preflop: Hero is BU with K, K
2 folds, CO raises $0.75, Hero raises $2.50 2 fold, CO calls

Flop: ($5.25) Q, K, J (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $4.50, CO calls $4.50

Turn: ($14.25) 3 (2 players)
CO checks, Hero bets $11.00, CO...

When you are playing opponents that always call too much anyway, you can make bigger value bets. The turn bet would commit you with any 2, but that doesn't matter against such an opponent. The main thing is that the money goes in the pot as long as you are ahead. Villain shouldn't be able to see any cheap cards on this dangerous board and not get scared by an unattractive river card.

Example "bets in 4-bet pots"

EXAMPLE 9:

PartyPoker $25 NL Hold'em (6-handed)

Stacks & Stats
UTG ($25)
MP ($25)
CO ($25)
Hero ($25)
SB ($25)
BB ($25) (Typ Maniac)

Preflop: Hero is BU with K, K
3 folds, Hero raises $0.75, 1 fold, BB raises $2.50, Hero raises $6.25, BB calls

Flop: ($12.60) 2, 4, 8 (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $4.00, ...

4-bet pots are rare, as after a 4-bet, there's usually no flop. When it does happen, it's generally against unusual opponents who are difficult to read.

In this case, you have an overpair. If you make a very big bet here, you'd definitely be committed. Your opponent would then be unlikely to bluff check/raise and call down less often.

If you bet small, you give him good outs to call again with weak hands (hardly any hand has a lot of dangerous outs against you), but he could also give himself fold equity for a bluff check/raise. Let him bluff if that's what he wants!

» SUMMARY

There are many ways to modify your bet sizing. You can discuss every bet size in the same way you discuss each play. There are many contributing factors here, however they usually aren't interpreted.

Learn the principles above by heart and try to vary and adapt your bet sizing according to the various factors. You are welcome to discuss these "important details" in our strategy discussion and hand evaluation forums.