Turn bet sizing for value

No Limit really is a game about getting the most value when you have the best hand. Television and movies glamourize blu...

Posted Jun 18, 2014


Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

No Limit really is a game about getting the most value when you have the best hand. Television and movies glamourize bluffing and live tells but in reality when you see a really good player play you should notice that they are dragging in enormous pots with their nutty hands because they know enough to build a pot. Bad players play trappy and win small pots with their big hands.

In games where the stacks may be capped at 100 big blinds it is so critical to correctly size your previous street bets so that you can get in a large bet on the river. One of the most overlooked aspects of this concept is turn bet sizing. You should be paying hyper attention to the effective stacks during a hand and closely size your turn bet so that on the river you can leave about a half pot sized bet all in if possible. It amazes me how this simple concept is lost on many people. Let us say that on the turn in a $5-$5 game we have a hand which we are almost certain is best and we also think that our opponent will continue to call bets with worse. The pot is $500 and he has $700 left. It is our action in position. How much should we bet? If we want to leave him with about a half pot size bet to call on the river you can see that betting just over $200 on the turn will do the job. You do not have to blast him out of the pot and making this smaller turn bet leads him to believe that he is getting proper odds pot odds, which he is. But we don’t care about the pot odds that we are laying him if we do not think that he is on a draw. Say we have Ac Ad and the board is Kc 5h 2s 2d. We are very sure that he has a king. AA in this spot is basically a nut hand. We want to make it appear like we are giving him too good of a price to fold and then cause him to continue to lose more money by making a bad call on the river.

The next time you are in a turn betting situation think about the fact that you want to leave your opponent with about a half pot sized bet on the river and size your bet correctly. Poker is sometimes like chess and when it comes to bet sizing in particular you must think ahead street by street.

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