Poker is a wonderful and exciting game that contains multiple layers of skill and luck intertwined together. Betting, however, represents one of the most important of these layers, as winning chips is what poker is all about at the end of a day.
The ability to get value from your opponent is one of the most essential skills one needs to succeed. To achieve this, you’ll need to bet often and in all sorts of situations. This article describes 7 types of bets you can make in poker and briefly explains how these bets will help you boost your profits.
There are certain dynamics at a poker table that you’ll find in almost every game. One of them is letting the pre-flop aggressor continue their aggression on the flop almost always regardless of how good your hand might be on the flop. Without going into details why it makes sense to do so, it really does for a number of reasons.
Some players, however, choose to deviate from this dynamic and will instead bet into the raiser instead of checking to them. This is known as a donk bet and, as you can guess from the name, it’s not regarded as a very good play. Lately, donk betting has been somewhat redeemed by pros who do use it occasionally in very specific situations, but it still remains something you shouldn’t really do.
Continuation Bet (c-bet)
When a player raises before the flop they’ll frequently continue to represent a strong hand by betting on the flop as well. This is known as a continuation bet and it is one of the most common types of bet in all of poker.
Continuation betting the flop after raising pre-flop is something that even inexperienced players do. This gives you a chance to put more pressure on your opponent and win the pot right then and there regardless of your particular hand strength. The main idea behind c-betting is that the other player is unlikely to have connected with the flop so they’ll often release their hand without any resistance.
Properly sizing your bets in poker is very important as experienced players make their decisions based on pure mathematics. In general, you want to size your bets in relation to the pot and, for the most part, you don’t want to bet more chips than what’s already in the middle.
However, every now and again you’ll want to go for some extra value by using an overbet, i.e., betting the full size of the pot or more. Overbets can be used as bluffs and for value alike and they work best against recreational punters who prefer other gambling games found at online casinos like 918kiss but occasionally stumble upon poker tables as well.
When you’re trying to calculate the right size for your bet, you want to make it in relation to the size of the pot. Usually, betting something around half the pot is a good amount, as it gives you an opportunity to continue building the pot when you have a hand but also puts your opponent to a decision as to whether or not they want to continue.
Just like you usually don’t want to bet huge, betting very small is also not a typical play. This is what’s known as underbet and it doesn’t really achieve those two goals from the previous paragraph. Sometimes it can be the right play, for instance in spots where you think your opponent just can’t call a standard-sized bet or when you believe they have a hand they just can’t continue with no matter what, and you don’t want to risk more chips in case you’re wrong.
When one player raises and another player re-raises, this is known as a 3-bet. This can happen both pre-flop and on later streets. Usually, a 3-bet signals strength as the 3-betting player is coming over the top of the initial opener, showing they’re willing to commit more chips to the pot.
Of course, this isn’t to say that a re-raise always means the player has the goods. Often, this play is used as a bluff, especially in today’s aggressive games. Properly sizing your 3-bets and finding good spots to execute them is a very large area of poker strategy but it’s an important one as well-timed aggression is key to being profitable.
There are typically two reasons for betting in poker. You’re either betting to get your opponent to fold (bluffing) or you’re betting because you have what you believe is the best hand and want them to call. The latter scenario describes what’s known as a value bet.
Usually, this type of bet is made on the river when there are no further cards to come and you know with a good degree of certainty that your opponent is behind. So, your goal is to get them to call with what stands to be the second-best hand, extracting some additional value.
Figuring out just how much to bet in a certain situation isn’t always easy, as you want to bet the maximum the other player is likely to call but not so much that you’ll force them to fold. The “correct size” for a value bet depends a lot on the player type, table dynamics, board texture, and how the hand played out, among many other factors.
As mentioned in some of the previous poker bet types, your bets usually represent a certain percentage of the pot (be it 30%, 50%, or 70%, etc.). Sometimes, though, you might just want to bet the exact amount of chips that are in the middle. This is known as a pot bet or a pot-sized bet.
While it’s technically not an overbet, a pot bet is right on the border. It is the largest “regular” bet you can make and it will put your drawing opponents in a tough spot (mathematically speaking). At the same time, betting the full pot often means risking more chips than you realistically need to achieve your goal (when bluffing), which is why it is used somewhat infrequently.