Originally Posted by sgriff
Please excuse what to some will be a silly question, but how much to reraise by confuses me. I have seen advice to raise by the amount of the pot and 3-4 times the initial raise, but this confuses me for the following reasons:
Reraise by the size of the pot - does this mean that I bet in total the pot size, or should it be the amount to call, and in addition the size of the pot (and is this the pot size before my call or after it)?
Reraise 3-4 the initial raise - again do I bet 3-4 times the raise or 3-4 times the raise plus the initial raise? Also, this seems a dubious guideline because the resulting pot odds
that I will give will depend on the initial raise.
I'd appreciate comments on the above, and especially I'd appreciate any simple rules of thumb that could be applied, for a) with no draws possible b) with draws possible. I have searched online but the advice I find is dependent on me understanding the definition of a pot size rise (see above).
Not silly at all and the answer, as always, is... it depends. It depends on what it is you're trying to accomplish and how you expect the OR (original raiser) to react. Lets deal with one very common scenario. You're in late position at a $100.00 table with AK or AQ and a tight player in EP (early position) open raises to 3xBB ($3). I would re-raise either of these hands (although I feel alot better about the AK) simply to define my hand and make any post flop play decisions that much easier. I know this is a how much thread, not a why thread, but the 2 are tied together. I want my raise to accomplish 2 things.
1) AK/AQ is a good hand, but also a vulnerable one. I want to bet enough to discourage anyone behind me, mostly the blinds, to call with speculative hands. and
2) To (as I said before) to define my hand. I'd be perfectly happy to win the hand PF, but I don't actually expect him to fold. By reraising, you are sending a message to the OR that your hand is as good or better than what he raised with. If he's a decent player, and if he sees you to be a decent player, he will have to respect your aggression. In most cases he'll call but unless he connects with the flop, he'll check to you in which case you must follow with a CB.
So how much to raise? I like a slightly bigger than pot sized bet, say $6. This should keep the blinds out of the action, and put marginal pressure on the OR. He'll have to call $3 to win $6. You don't know exactly what he has, but any pair should
call and any AJ or weaker should
fold. The fact that you reraised will make life alot easier for you and when you're beat, you'll actually lose less by having a clearer undertanding of your own relative hand strength.