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The Top Reasons to Bet When Playing Poker

Each action you take in poker is for a reason. Whether you are betting to put more money in a pot that you consider you have the best hand, or if you are trying to bluff a weak opponent. Betting also allows you to set the tone of how the hand will go.

Making Better Hands Fold

When you raise AQ and the board comes K24, you continuation bet because you want hands like pocket 69s to fold so that you can take down the pot. In this situation you are taking advantage of the fact that it is very hard for your opponent to continue on that type of board without having a K. If they do call with pocket pairs they will normally fold to a double barrel. When you bet the turn again unimproved you are making a double barrel.

Another way of making better hands fold is betting when you don’t even have a high card and you bet. If you have 67s in the big blind and the small blind limps in you can raise him up right there to try to force a lot of their range of completing with that has high cards in it. Let’s say you have T2 in the big blind and its folded around to the small blind who limps and you check. The flop is 9K3 and they check. Here is a good spot to bet to get better hands to fold. You hold ten high against your opponents entire range of limping the small blind, so when they check they more than likely don’t have a hand they would like to continue with.

Pure bluffing is a good way of making better hands fold. Bluff raising when a draw comes in is a good way to make better hands fold. You have to make sure that the line you take with your bluff looks like the hand you are bluffing to have.

Building the Pot When You Have the Best Hand

One thing that a lot of casual poker players get into their heads is slow playing big hands is the only way to go. That is completely wrong. It’s easy to remember:


Simply value betting to ensure you get the most money into the pot as you can when you have a winning hand is always the best way to do it. You do have the flop turn and river to get money in, but to make it not look suspicious is a little more difficult. You have to bet in a manor that sets you up for an all in move on the river that isn’t an over pot bet.

Example: $0.10/$0.20 NLHE

Preflop raise $0.70 1 caller plus blinds makes the pot $1.70ish without rake taken. Flop bet $1.55. Pot is now $4.8. Turn bet $4.10. Pot is now $12. You both have $14 left which is only $2 more than pot which makes this a standard situation to shove on the river.

Control Size and Tone of Hand

Against loose opponents if you bet a small 1/3 pot bet on the river when you are out of position against your opponent, this is called a blocking bet. The size of this bet is just the right size that you can still get value from hands that will also just call and also makes it easy to lay down if you are raised. A player would make this bet in order to stop his opponent from making their own value bet on the river which would be much larger than the blocking bet.

You will see many poker players out there who are calling stations. They love to call down with a large range of hands to see if they won. Against these players you can control exactly how the hand goes. If you have a big hand then you can bet it big and play a big pot. If you have a medium holding like a hidden second pair you can bet smaller and even check once or twice for value on the river.