Now that you’ve determined you should bet, the question is, ‘how much?’
To determine the right poker bet sizing strategy, you first have you ask yourself this question: ‘how often am I betting in this situation?’ Or put another way, ‘what percentage of my range is betting here?’
In the example above, the answer is roughly 100%. As the preflop raiser, we’re always betting this flop because the board and situation heavily favor our range, so much so that we have to bet here almost regardless of our holding in order to achieve a balanced game plan.
How does the frequency of our betting relate to our poker bet sizing strategy?
It’s simple. The more frequently we are betting in a given situation, the smaller our bet sizing should be.
The logic behind this is quite simple as well. The wider our range is, the more bluffs it will contain. Therefore, the less we can afford to risk in order to win the pot. Since our equity will be lower when our range is weaker, we should be risking less money to win the pot.
Second, the board texture is very dry, meaning there aren’t many hands in which your opponent can check call with. Therefore, choosing a small bet sizing makes the most sense. The reason being your opponent will check/call almost regardless of your bet size if he has any piece of the board, and fold if he doesn’t.
Therefore, betting big is a waste of chips and the same information can be gathered with a smaller bet size.
You can use this poker bet sizing chart I’ve created to help you determine the most profitable bet size as well as how often to bet, based on the board texture. This chart will help you with your continuation betting strategy as well.
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Betting small like in the situation above accomplishes two key purposes:
1. It allows us to profitably bet with our entire range. Since we’re only risking a fraction of the pot with our bet size, our continuation bet has to work a lot less frequently in order for us to show a profit.
2. It keeps our range balanced, thereby making us harder to play against. When our range contains more hands, it’s harder for our adversaries to pinpoint what we are holding. Furthermore, by using the same bet size regardless of whether we connected with the board or not, our opponents will be left guessing as to our holding.
Now that you know why you are betting in the first place, and that you have to choose a small bet sizing, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of exactly how much you should bet.
Typical poker wisdom is to bet 1/3 of the pot in situations like the one above. That said, this is a general rule and the exact bet sizing you choose will depend on the specific board texture, how strong your range is compared to your opponents and his post flop tendencies.
For example, a 222 board is different than a AK4 board. While both board textures are dry, there are naturally many more combinations of hands that we as the original preflop raiser could have connected with on the latter.
While we are still going to be betting both boards nearly 100% of the time, I’d choose a slightly smaller bet sizing on the 222 texture (perhaps 1/4 pot), because there are simply strong hands I can have, and less strong hands my opponent can check/call with than the AK4 board.