Poker Question&Answer on NL Holdem

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The following is a Q&A that I got the other day from a fellow poker player. I thought it was a useful discussion to clarify a few points that I made have made incorrectly in one of my posts:

Q: Hi, just wanting to know what situation it is where you mention betting 2x the pot to push an opponent off of a hand? That seems like to large of a bet.”

A: I have no idea what context my comment about betting 2x that pot was in, so I have no idea how to respond to your question. ‘It all depends’ is the only answer I can give without knowing the situation that I was talking about at the time. Are you talking about 2x the Big Blind rather than 2x the pot? Obviously, if you are talking about a $300 pot and you bet $600 or 2x, then a person would have to have a big hand to call. If you are talking about a $30 pot early in a tournament and betting $60, then that would be a different story…….

Q:In any case, the Flop came Q-9-2 rainbow. At this point, we were the only 2 players in a pot with about $600 in chips in it. My opponent immediately made a bet of $1200 or double the pot. This immediately made me think that he did not connect with the Flop. If he had, why bet so much? Obviously, this was a try to push me off my hand. While I didn’t have a great hand, I had hit high pair with a decent kicker. Not bad based on my analysis of my opponent.

I decided to raise and right after I did, he re-raised all-in. What now? Call. He flipped over pocket 8’s and my Q’s held up enabling me to double up my chip stack.

Is this a simple analysis? Maybe. But, many times, the simple one is the correct one. There is nothing wrong with making a continuation bet, but there is really no need to make such a large one. All that 2x the pot size bet served to do was to alert me to the fact that he wanted me out of the pot. I guess he could have wanted me to think that he had A-A or K-K or even A-Q, but if so he should have made smaller bet. That would have made me proceed with caution, since I was concerned about my kicker.

In any case, if you totally miss a flop, betting double the pot is not going to make your opponent think that you hit it. On the contrary, it will most likely cost you a lot of your chip stack as it did in this instance.

I was trying to get a feel for what is “normal? after blinds start antes at about 150-200 read that i should c-bet 2.3-2.5 times the pot but my mind is such that i cannot remember  ….are you talking about something different?

A:That clarifies it to me a bit. I am really not an advocate of betting 2x the pot, because of the situation that you just described; it is too big of a bet. I think what I may have been talking about in the instance that you read was a pre-flop steal bet, in which case I would have been talking about the BB rather than the pot? Again, not sure without finding the quote, and it is more than possible that I mis-typed something! lol.
Anyway, my strategy would be to bet 2.5x-3x the BB, not the pot, so in $150-$200 blinds with antes, I would be betting $450-$600 giving me positive equity on the chips I am risking,  if I want to push them into a fold preflop. If I have a big hand and want some action, then I will lower it to 2x the BB.
As far as after the flop, turn or river, I seldom if ever make a bet more than 1/2-full pot sized depending on what reaction I am looking for. The closer you get to a pot sized bet, the tougher it is to call without a hand. 1/2 pot is more looking for action when I hit. However, I cannot think of where I would bet 2x the POT because you are putting too many chips at risk for too little gain. In other words, I don’t want to risk $600 to gain $300. Even a $90 pot I would not be betting $180 to take it down. My guess is if I said that in a post, then I must have mis-typed; I’m only human!
Thanks again for the question.

To purchase my 224 page ebook The No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Holdem or live one-on-one coaching sessions with Chris Wilcox,  click this link:https://www.chriswilcoxpoker.com/category/kickstarter-2/p
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