I'm gonna give it a shot even though it's still way too general a topic, The first thing you’ll need to establish when you are developing a betting strategy is to understand the logic behind why you are betting in the first place.
One way to determine the amount of a bet is by making a direct comparison to the amount of money already in the pot. Although this is a good general rule of thumb, you will still need to base your betting on the intended actions you want your opponents to do and to achieve this you need to know your reasons for betting.
There are essentially three primary reasons for betting: (1) Betting for Value, (2) Betting for Information and (3) Betting for Protection. [Betting on a bluff is a different animal in general but even then, your bluffing bet will still be in an effort to represent one of these three reasons and as such it is in your best interest to understand the logic of these reasons in order to make a more believable bluff]
Betting for Value
is the most common type of betting that we routinely see at the tables. The logic here is that we’re holding a strong hand, we want to profit from that strong hand and we bet accordingly. A value bet may range from the minimum bet (seldom), to one half/full amount of the pot (often), to more than the pot. There’s no one way to determine a minimum or maximum bet amount for value because there are too many factors, but suffice to say that you want that bet to be low enough to get a call and high enough to get the maximum pay-off.
Betting for Information
is a type of betting that many novice and average players don’t quite understand. The idea here is to place a bet that will provide you with more information then you already have in order to get a better read on your opponents hand, their intent or even their playing style and thereby play your own hand more profitably. This is done with a wider range of bet sizes than just the standard half/full amount of the pot and this is something that you tend to develop over time with experience. I could provide examples, but that's just too time consuming for this thread.
Betting for Protectio
n is one of the most important of the three reasons and it is also the basis for why we gauge the size of our bet against the size of the pot. The idea here is to make a bet large enough so that your opponents do not have the correct odds
to try and out draw you. In order to calculate how much a bet needs to be you will have to assess what you believe your opponent(s) might be holding and determine the number of outs they have. Once you’ve figure out the number of outs they have it’s time to figure out what their hand odds are of outdrawing you. There’s a long drawn out formula for that, but the shortened version makes it a lot easier: Multiply the number of outs they have by 4 and you’ll get a close estimation to the percentage they have to hit that hand from the Flop. Multiply by 2 instead of 4 when you’re determining their odds from the turn.
Once you’ve got their hand odds you need to make their pot odds
exceed their hand odds by betting high enough so that for them to call they are outside their appropriate odds.
i.e. You are holding
(on the Button), your opponent (seated in 5th position) is holding
and the board reads
. You have Top Two Pair and your opponent is only holding Middle Pair Middle Kicker, but he has an Open-Ended Straight Draw. After the Flop there is $250
in the pot and your opponent (with 8 outs
and roughly a 32%
chance of out-drawing you) checks it over to you. In order for you to put the odds against him you will need to bet better than 32%
of the current pot, or $80
, to keep the odds against him.
Obviously there’s a lot more that can go into it, but that should be enough for you to chew on for now. Like aliengenius said, "Do NOT
size your bet based on your hand strength.."