Betting types in Poker

by PokerFanatic | posted in Poker articles

Poker Betting

When playing Texas Hold’em Poker a player is faced with 5 situations that they are able to place a bet into the central pot in order to stay within the current hand that is underway at that moment in time.

First we should look at what placing a bet into the central pot means in terms of playing poker and what it says to your opponents.

A bet is a declaration that you either are holding what you feel is the better hand or that you feel that you are holding the best hand out of a number of weaker hands held by your opponents.

Generally when playing a game of poker, players are meant to bet when they have a strong hand and fold when they are holding a set of cards of either low strength or no strength.

This general rule is unwritten and over the previous number of years while the game has become more and more popular across the world, players have developed a form of betting that means that they are offering the impression that they are holding a strong hand when in fact they aren’t.

In order to know when it is best to place a bet into the pot, following these tips would mean that you would have a better understanding of what you are about to get yourself into by placing the bet and including yourself within the hand.

Blind Stealing

Blind stealing is a term that is given to a form of betting that sees a player making a large raise while they are not within the force betting positions, also known as the ‘Blinds’.

The best position to make such a play would be if you were ‘on the button’, a term given to the player who represents the dealer in the hand.

This means that you are the last player to act before the betting action makes its way into the ‘blind’ positions. The advantage of playing from this position at the table is that you get the opportunity to see how many players are wanting to involve themselves within the action.

If you are thinking about making a ‘blind stealing‘ bet, the greatest chance that a player who makes this kind of play would be if there were no players who have acted before them have signaled an interest into playing in the hand.

Betting into a pot that already has players who have ‘called’ or ‘raised’ is not recommended if you are looking to make this form of betting as the possibility that you will be ‘called’ or ‘re-raised’ is increased.

Steal – Raise

‘Steal – Raise’ is a term that describes a bet that is placed when the action within the game is passed around the table without any betting taking place before it reaches the player who is last to act.

This is a great position to place a bet into the pot with the impression that you are holding a strong hand at this point in the game.

Although this is a great position to make a steal on a pot that contains a number of players, knowing to read your players is key because failure to recognise when a player is looking to ‘check – raise’ when their previous play has included this form of play could prove costly for you.

The ‘Steal – Raise’ technique is not something that new players should look to play until they have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of that game and the types of players who participate in it.

Check – Raise

‘Check – Raise’ is a form of play that signals a large amount of strength as you are looking for a player to make a bet into the pot so that you can ‘raise’ the stakes over the top of their bet.

This is a great method to help increase the size of a pot that is available but also carries the risk that no player who will act after you will place a bet, giving any players still within the hand the chance to see a ‘free card’.

Giving players the opportunity to see a ‘free card’ increases the opportunity for your opponent to hit a hand that overpowers yours so making sure that you have the best hand possible is highly recommended.

An example of when this would be used is if you were holding ‘pocket aces’ and their is at least one other player still being dealt into the hand. On the flop if an ace is placed onto the ‘community board’, checking the action to another player who give the impression that you are not holding a hand of strength when in fact you are holding a ‘set of aces’ also known as ‘three of a kind’.

Checking the action around to another player might mean that they feel that they have the opportunity to exercise the ‘Steal – Raise’ bet or leave them feeling that they genuinely have the best hand, leading them to bet into the pot.

In this situation, making a minimum raise would mean that you would get at very least a call but the majority of time players tend to ‘re-raise’ you or to move ‘all in’, giving you a nice heavy central pot to win.

Remember that if a player has already bet into a pot, its highly likely that they are going to call a second bet.

Opener Bet

The term ‘Opener Bet’ is when the first player to act within the hand makes a ‘raise’ into the pot. This means that players who are to act after this player have to call two bets, the first being the original ‘blind’ amount and the second being the amount of the ‘raise’.

This form of play is often used by players who are more likely to ‘bluff’ into an active pot and id widely considered to be regarded as poor play.

The ‘Opener Bet’ is designed to reduce the number of players who are willing to participate within a hand due to the increased amount of stake that they have to offer into the centre to become a part of the action again.

Although this form of betting does seem to offer a good amount of success at reducing the size of number of players who are willing to play the hand, it also means that players who see their hand as a strong one will be more willing to either increase the stake by placing a ‘raise’ or move ‘all in’ so making sure that you have a hand that you are willing to risk your whole stake on as failure to do that could see the player who made the ‘Opener Bet’ originally, have to lay their hand down and with that lose an amount of chips that they could have retained.

Squeezing Bet

This form of bet is most commonly seen in short handed games and is used when a player is holding a good hand but they suspect that one or more of the remaining players is on either a ‘straight draw’ or a ‘flush draw’.

An example of when making a ‘Squeeze Bet’ would be used is if you were holding top pair with a high kicker but there are two cards that have been dealt onto the ‘community board’ are of the same suit. This means that there is a chance that any player active within the hand could be holding two more cards that are of that suit.

At this moment in time, the player who is holding two cards of the same suit but have ‘missed’ the cards already on the ‘board’ are currently holding nothing but a ‘flush draw’.

Placing a ‘Squeeze Bet’ means that you wager into the pot with a large bet because at that moment within the hand you are holding what you consider to be the best possible hand.

Playing this bet and making sure that you are placing a large bet into the pot here means that the player who is chasing a flush draw has to decide whether they are going to call your large bet with nothing or if they are going to lay their hand down, so making sure you aim big with your bet is of key significance.

Players should be aware that this form of bet is more likely to be called by players who are sat at a lower stake table than higher stakes due to the fact that the player could be either inexperienced, weak or new to the game and does not yet have a good understanding of the game and the odds that they face.

Also note that players who are ‘short staked’ and within the hand also offer an increased amount of possibility of making a call when you make this play.

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