Weiss's List of Common Bets: Part 1, 2, 3
The mathematics of poker is very important. But in order to understand the mathematics, you have to be able to put your opponents on "likely holdings" and in order to do that you have to understand what their actions imply. In some instances, some actions can be so readable that you can actually narrow a hand down to the exact value of what they are holding.
But, you need to speak the language. And the language is betting patterns. So here's some common bets and what they generally mean in terms of Lvl 1 thinking.
: A bet of 2/3 to 3/4 the pot made by the pre-flop aggressor. This bet can be a value bet if they connected with the board, a bluff if they did not, or an information bet if they have a holding that is only ahead slightly more often than it is behind (like holding AK on 2 8 7 board).
Doing it correctly: Against call stations as a value play, against passive players as "protection" style bet/easy fold, and in a balanced manner. Biggest mistake: c-betting EVERY board against EVERY player. C-betting a good amount is good, c-betting almost every to every flop is not.
: A bet that's the size of the pot or more. This is most commonly used as a bet with a value hand that is likely ahead but vulnerable (pocket Jacks on a 7 7 9 board with two suited cards). It's meant to give your opponent bad odds
to see another card.
Flat Call/Smooth Call
Calling a bet/raise. There are three basic flat calls: the float (calling to bluff later), the light call (calling with a hand that has show down value), and the smooth call (calling with a big hand in order to get more value later).
I personally think calling is the most overused play, because people don't think of it as a play. BUT, it is. You have to be aware of what kind of call you are making. I find people on lower stakes have particularly unbalanced calling ranges where they:
Smooth call too much: no one wants to scare someone out of the pot, but remember we want to get as much money in the pot as possible when we have monsters. The bigger we can get earlier streets the bigger we can get later streets.
Calling light often or never: Some people call light WAY too much. Some people don't call light at all. Your calling range should be relative to who you're playing against, and your own image.
Floating Without A Play: If you're going to float a street, you should have "if/then" plans for the next street. "If I improve, then I will..." "If I do improve, then I will..."
I wanted to start with these three because they are very common.