Proper Bet Sizing?

One thing I struggle with is how big to size my bets.
In the hand above, I had a flush, and shoved with the obvious straight on the board, wanting to stack a straight. It worked out for me in this case, but is this optimal?

With a 5x overbet, I obviously fold out any weaker hand than a straight (and hopefully don’t fold out straights, even though such a big sizing is pretty suspicious, since people tend to not fold straights), but I figured the money I make from straights is worth it. Is my reasoning correct?

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I have a better question: What hands do you have in your range?

Obviously your ace-high flushes will be in the value category. You shouldn’t have (m)any of those in your range, though, since they should be raising preflop. Do you shove here with King-high flushes? Queen-high flushes? If you had, say, 6d7d, would you jam your flush as a value hand?

What bluffs do you have in your range? Keep in mind that you need to have sufficient bluffs to balance your value hands, or else opponents will never call, even with straights and weak flushes. With a 5x overbet, a little over 45% of your hands will need to be bluffs. How do you choose which of your weak hands to bluff, and which to call / fold / raise a smaller size?

You had a great hand. In a game for real money it might have been better to have bet half pot. That way you would’ve had less of a chance of scaring them away from a raise if they did have a straight, at whch time you could have shoved, and they might have thought that you were bluffing. Unfortunately, what is optimal in real money games isn’t the same as it is on Replay where people shove with anything.

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Here’s a ring game I just played.

This one is especially egregious - after action checks down for all 3 streets, I shove 130k into a 5k pot when the super obvious straight draw completes.
Would I even be able to stack a 9 with a play like that?

I have a hard time understanding why you bet 130,000 chips ( all on ) to win a measly 5k in chips.

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I agree. Unless he had he nuts it wasn’t a wise move.

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@Craig_Anthony @MinnowShark Did you watch the replay?

Sure did. Twice in fact.

Okay, the reasoning is I’m hoping someone has a 9, and will call my shove.

  1. Why didn’t you bet on an earlier street? It would have built a more attractive pot for you to take down.

  2. What bluffs do you have in that spot? With 16 combos of K9, you’ll need quite a few combos of bluffs for balance to get calls, but you can’t go too crazy.

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  1. In the earlier streets, I believed my equity was very poor. In addition betting on an earlier street might fold out 9x, and I want 9x to stay in the pot and complete their straight draw.
    A principle in poker is that you should bluff more when your hand makes a bad straight, and bluff less when it makes a good one.

  2. None! Arguably 9x. (Which I would prefer other 9x to fold to.) There is no attempt to balance this range here, this was an attempt at an exploitative play against players that I perceive to call too frequently with 9x.

Like Craig, I watched it more than once.

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Hoping someone has a 9 to call your shove is not a good strategy.


i know one thing» winner is always right

Lucky and right aren’t equivalent.

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If you thought that any of the people at this table would be likely to call a 25x overbet of the pot with a 9, then it seems like a great idea to me. But was anyone likely to have a 9 here? I’m not really sure how any of the people at that table approached the game, and perhaps there were a few that might continue to trap with a 9 there, but I think most people would make some kind of bet with a 9 there on the river, and so I think you’d normally want to be targeting weaker hands that might call a bet, since it seems at least a little less likely that you have any hands out there that would normally call any kind of large bet.

Honestly though, on a board like that (and after the lack of any betting from anyone) I think it is fairly hard to expect to get called by anything. I think I’m lkely to bet small there, as I think even a small bet will mostly get everyone to fold (making it suitable for bluffs), and will also generate a small volume of bluff raises (or maybe even a raise from an occasional 9), generating a little extra value where it would be otherwise hard to get any.

Still, if you get a few people that make crazy calls a lot, that overbet starts to look fantastic.