How to Improve Your Poker Betting
Of all the table or card games played around the world, none is arguably more popular today than poker. While there are plenty of variations of the basic game, including 5 card Texas Hold’em, 7 card Omaha, Caribbean Stud and many others, the core component that all share is the art of betting.
Whether you choose to play the game at home, at a casino, at a poker club or tournament, or at home online, knowing how to bet, when to bet and, perhaps most importantly, why to bet will do wonders for your game right now! You may think we’re exaggerating, but you would be surprised at just how many poker players are missing out on the true experience of the game, simply because they don’t fully comprehend how betting in poker really works.
This easy to understand mini-guide is designed to give you a quick breakdown of the art of poker betting. Learn right now why you should never underestimate the importance of poker betting, what sort of a poker player you are and how that influences how you bet, when to bet, when to call and when to fold, and how to use all of that to improve your own game.
Why Betting In Poker Can Win The Pot
In many instances, both players and general observers of the game actually underestimate the importance of betting at the poker table. For many, the art of the bluff is more fascinating, even though the bluff is part of the betting strategy. Others concentrate on the psychology of poker and others focus on the snacks that may or may not be available at the table.
Did you know that about two thirds of all poker rounds end long before the so-called showdown stage, where all players still in the game make their final bets and show their cards? This is based on an interesting study that PokerStars, one of the largest online poker websites on the web, ran through an independent auditing company. The auditing company found that at least two thirds of bets ended before the final round. In other words, everyone, save for the winner, at the table folded before the end of the round. Why is that?
The reason is simple. Someone at the table knew how to bet, and it did not matter what hand that person was holding. They knew how to bet, when to bet and why to bet. This information was extrapolated through analysing hundreds and hundreds of games played online. Poker betting serves two main goals. Firstly, smart players that have a good hand will try to push the betting as far as they can so that they can grow the pot as large as possible before taking it down. Secondly, smart players that do not hold a good hand will find ways to bet in order to fool other players into believing that that players hand will beat theirs, thereby causing them to fold.
Should You Call or Should You Bet?
Here’s something that many newbie poker players seem to misunderstand. In poker, when you add chips to the pot, you’re betting. This includes opening the betting, calling someone else’s bet or raising someone else’s bet. However, there is quite a difference between raising and calling, and both are used differently in a poker betting strategy. You’ll see later how this works and how it will affect how you are perceived at the table.
However, if you are at a table and feel like putting pressure on those in the game, raising would be the way to go. It does not necessarily matter what cards you are holding, as long as your opponents believes that you’ve got the goods.
Assessing Your Opponents In Texas Holdem Poker
The moment that you decide to sit down at the table, you’re already in the game and everyone is already assessing you. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly game after work with your work mates, or a serious game for money, knowing what sort of players you are playing against is vital. Once you get a handle on who is who at the table, you can begin to formulate your strategy for winning.
Let’s say you’re going up against experienced players, bluffing is a good way to go because their skill level and experience would cause them to be more cautious while raising and playing to push up the pot value works well with inexperienced players, who lack the experience to quite while they are ahead. Bluffing works against experienced players because tighter poker players tend to fold often against aggressive betting, although they may also re-raise against you. If you don’t have the hand to keep pushing, save your chips and check to them instead.
Your Betting Style At The Poker Table
Poker is one of the most strategic games of all, and knowing how to read your opponents is key, but it is equally important to understand how others regard you based on the way you bet and the way that you respond to the actions of the other players. In poker, players will generally fall into one of two main style categories – tight players and loose players.
Tight players have a certain style. For instance, a tight player will fold frequently. Even with a playable hand they will fold in response to aggressive bets at the table. They will rarely re-raise other player’s bets, and only then with the nuts. If you choose a tight strategy, expect your opponents to work that out and start raising against you more than you would like. They see you as an easy steal for the blinds –or they will try to get you out of a hand to reduce the post flop competition. This can be good and bad, depending on your cards. If you happen to be holding a strong hand, tight aggressive playing has a higher chance of winning the pot. On the other hand, experienced players will tend to fold more frequently in the face of any aggressive play you do make, which would ultimately result in pot wins of a lower value.
Loose players play the opposite and will see nearly every flop. They also tend to C- bet post-flop which ends up stretching out the betting. IF you recognise a player is being loose, you can often take the pot down by re-raising them, especially in a heads up situation, because they will frequently have nothing in their hand or on the board. Similarly, in most cases, if players see that you are a loose player, you can be sure that they will call you on a lot of your bets and raises.
How To Bet In Poker; Conclusion
Betting plays a big part in who wins a hand in Texas Holdem Poker, and its often the first bet which wins the pot. You have to work out your own betting strategy, but you can’t do it in isolation from the other players at the table. Your betting strategy has to be adaptable and reconfigured each time you encounter a different playing style. Look for weakness in other players betting processes and take advantage. Be the boss. In Texas holdem poker an aggressive betting style is a winning system, but you still have to temper that with awareness of your opponents and how they are betting. In your next game try a more aggressive betting strategy and see what happens. You might lose all your chips or you might win, its all part of the learning process in poker. Good Luck.