Overbetting Quiz

I notice on Replay that there is very little overbetting. I created this quiz so hopefully more people can understand when to overbet.

Note: In many of these situations other bet sizes can also work. In spots where you can bet 200% pot, you can often bet 150% pot as well.

Assume you are playing 3-max with 2 strong tight-aggressive players with 100bb stacks.

  1. You hold T♦9♦ on the BU and open to 2.5bb. SB folds, BB calls.
    Flop comes 9♥8♦7♥(5.5bb pot), BB checks, what should you do?

a. Check
b. Bet 50% pot
c. Bet 100% pot
d. Bet 200% pot

Answer

b. Bet 50% pot

On this board texture, BB will have many draws and many strong hands including straights and two pair. T9 with top pair and a straight draw is strong enough to bet to deny equity and get value from worse pairs.

The question is how big? Betting too large will just result in running into too many strong hands and folding out worse hands. BU needs to choose a smaller size to extract value from worse pairs. In addition, by choosing a smaller sizing, BU will be able to bet more often and deny equity more often.

  1. You look down to Q♦Q♥ on the BU and open to 2.5bb. SB folds, BB calls.
    Flop comes A♥J♦T♣(5.5bb pot), BB checks, You bet 2.5bb, BB calls.
    Turn comes 5♦(10.5bb pot), BB checks, what should you do?

a. Check
b. Bet 50% pot
c. Bet 100% pot
d. Bet 200% pot

Answer

d. Bet 200% pot

The first thing is to recognize that this board texture heavily favors BU. BB will 3bet AA, JJ, TT and a decent chunk of KQ and AJ, and as a result, BB will have very little two-pair or better. BU wants to go all-in by the river with AT and stronger and needs to overbet. Because BB’s rarely has strong hands, BB is forced to call with some top pairs facing an overbet or risk being overrun by bluffs.

QQ is one of BU’s best bluff candidates as it blocks KQ. It does have some showdown value, but a 200% pot bet will get some top pairs to fold and will still get called by worse, specifically pair + draw. (If BB does decide to call the turn bet, QQ will check river.)

  1. You hold Q♦6♦ on the BB. BU opens to 2.5bb, SB folds, you call.
    Flop comes 6♥6♣9♥(5.5bb pot), You check, BU checks.
    Turn comes A♦, what should you do?

a. Check
b. Bet 50% pot
c. Bet 100% pot
d. Bet 200% pot

Answer

d. Bet 200% pot

BU should bet most trips on the flop, so BB has a big trips advantage. When the aces comes on the turn, BU will have many strong top pairs. It doesn’t make much sense for BB to weak pairs since BB will run into many top pairs. BB will mainly be betting trips. Thus, BB should overbet (or occasionally check-raise) to extract the maximum value from a top pair and try to push the trips advantage as much as possible.

  1. You have A♦J♥ on the BU and open to 2.5bb. SB folds, BB calls.
    Flop comes Q♦9♦6♦ (5.5bb pot), BB checks, You bet 2bb, BB calls
    Turn comes 2♥(9.5bb pot), BB checks, You bet 9bb, BB calls.
    River comes 3♥(27.5bb pot), BB checks, what should you do?

a. Check
b. Bet 100% pot
c. Bet 200% pot
d. Bet all-in

Answer

a. Check

You hold the nut flush blocker, which makes the hand a poor candidate for bluffing since you block many of BB’s floats on the turn. The ideal bluff candidate is to hold a medium flush card like J♦, which blocks many flushes but unblocks nut flush draws. A hand like A♥J♦ would be a much better bluff.

However, BU can have an overbet range on this board. BU will have more flushes as BB will check-raise some flushes on the flop and turn. Thus, BU jam a small amount of strong flushes for value.

How did you do? Did you learn anything?

Hopefully, we’ll see more overbetting on Replay.

1 Like

I see overbetting pretty infrequently, and seldom enough that I question whether the players I see utilizing it know what they’re doing.

What are they doing? Often, they’re trying to get the table to fold. Either bluffing or semi-bluffing. It might work sometimes, but when it doesn’t, it’s rather expensive.

Sometimes they’re holding effective nuts and are trying to make it look like they don’t want a call. Some LAG style players will capitalize on the fact that they are bluffing often, and will show enough bluffs to entice players to call their overbets when they have something very strong.

When do they overbet? Rarely, if ever, on the Turn, from what I see. Turn is almost always a fraction of pot, or a full pot bet, but hardly ever an overbet. The most common time to overbet is on the flop, and the next most common is on the river.

Flop overbets are more common, especially when the preflop betting was low, resulting in a paltry little pot. If you’ve hit it, now you want a big pot, so one way to accomplish this is by overbetting (provided you get called). It might also help fold out your drawing opponents, as most of the time draws will not profitably call here. The exceptions are hands like Top Pair, 4 to the flush.

River overbets are slightly less common, because usually by the time you get to the river, the pot’s already pretty big. Still, you do see it, and it’s almost always a monster made hand or a bluff repping such a hand.

Let’s not forget preflop overbetting though. I see a lot of players shoving preflop with pocket pairs, and it’s almost always an overbet. You see it with the premium pocket pairs but sometimes the rag pairs will shove, more as a bluff, hoping to steal, and especially smaller stacks will do it in tournaments with a wider range because they need to in order to double up and go deep in the tournament, or just steal the blinds to keep alive for another orbit.

I’m not sure, but I have a hypothesis that overbetting can be good to counter opponents who like to check-raise. It’s harder to check-raise an overbet, since it reps such a strong hand. They check, you overbet, and now it’s uncomfortable to come back over you unless they’re really sure they’ve got the best hand. they might not even call, where they would have 3x overbet a 1/2-pot bet.

I’m more likely to fold a hand like top pair, weak kicker to an overbet, fearing two pair or a set, or a stronger kicker. Which, that makes it the perfect bet size to use with hands like bottom or middle pair, once in a while, if your overbets are tending to close the hand early.

One of the best times to use an overbet seems to be when you hit a low, dry flop without a lot of draw potential, and your opponent’s range or preflop behavior indicates they most likely missed the flop, and you don’t put them on an overpair. A hand like A8s, flopping top pair 88s, with, like 5-2 rainbow on the flop. You may want to overbet here, particularly if the size of the pot is on the small side.

I don’t use overbets all that much myself, but I will on occasion. I think they work well in situations similar to when you might have raised if someone had bet in front of you, but often I like the raise better, since it’s a move you make after your opponent has committed more chips to the pot, while overbets are more likely to not get calls, and can thus limit the size of the pots you win (but may help you secure pots where you were otherwise at risk of getting drawn out on). But my strategy and theory is still pretty undeveloped.

Occasionally, I’ll run into players who like to overbet a lot, and have to deal with them. Usually, the way to do this is to ignore the overbet, and don’t give them credit for having such a strong hand, be willing to call. I’ve gotten players to give me most of their stack whiffing with two high broadway cards on a low board that I happened to hit middle pair on the flop with. It’s a little nervewracking, but once you have a feel for whether your opponent is BSing you or not, you need to be able to do it, or they’ll steamroll you with aggression.

2 Likes

Ring or SnG? This certainly isn’t the way I play BUT if I’m trying to over bet whenever possible. I’ll go:

  1. D

  2. B
    Block too many draws

  3. D

  4. C (but i prefer b.)
    I have to wonder what villain calls the strong turn bet with & what they will fold on the river. I doubt villain is flush drawing. I would guess they are calling with a made hand. Turn bet looks strong & bluffy, which is great with the nuts, which hero can have. Can Villain fold a weak flush or any flush or KdQo? Maybe with option D sometimes.

Not yet but I hope to.

Over betting isn’t very common on RP as you said. Some players do it a lot tho. I’m aggressive but almost never over bet. I think its super profitable on RP if you know how to do it, when & why etc.

Doyle Brunson does some good over betting in ring games. Daniel Negeanu tries too.

How did I do coach?

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I didn’t realise there were answers provided until after I posted. It seems I did pretty badly lol.