Ok so lately I have seen some insane raises, people going all-in for 5 grand on a 60 pot and stuff like that. I just really do not understand what goes through peoples minds when they risk a nice stack of chips on a trash pot cause 9 out of 10 times if they are called they are dominated and will be watching everyone else play the next hand. I think it was last week in Carbon that I was sitting there in our game watching all-in after all-in and all it got was a few chips from a pot limped into by a couple people or got someone knocked out. So I made a joke about someone needing to make a post about betting, so I figured I would make the post and talk about how I come up with some of my betting and hope someone would enlighten me as to why people would risk it all over so few chips.
Now I know you see pros "overbetting" pots sometimes on t.v. but it is still under control. You may see them bet 1600 into a 1200 pot, a nice overbet of the pot but that is a long way from pushing all-in for 30k in that same 1200 pot, the risk vs reward becomes to high. A small over bet can seem like you are trying to steal the pot to entice a call but an over bet like that just makes no sense at all. Odds
are most people wont call a bet like that without a monster hand and then you are out and for what? A tiny little pot that wasn't much more than a standard raise preflop and now you are out when you had a nice stack and there was no reason at all to risk it with even a marginal hand. Now on the other hand lets say you do have a big hands or maybe even the nuts, if your hand is that strong then most of the time whoever is in the hand can't have that big of a hand so there is almost no way they will call you there and you don't make anything on it. That sums up the whole point I'm trying to make... When you have a hand you want calls if they fold you don't make anything on it and it was a waste of a strong hand. When you are bluffing you don't want a call but you really don't want a call of your all-in on a tiny pot that you were trying to steal.
It is very rare that I make a bet bigger than the pot and the few times I will are when I am short stacked. If the pot is 1200 and I have 1600 and know that I can't make a decent raise without committing over 1/2 my stack and therefore pot committing the other person to calling me on the next bet which will be all-in. For most of my betting I stick to the 2/3-3/4ths the pot for all my bets, bluff, made hand or drawing hand. I'm not going to advertise what my hand is by making a stupid bet I try to keep about all bets in this range. The exceptions are if there is a draw out there I may make it a pot bet to push out some chasers or may make a smaller bet to build the pot a little and see what the next card is then make a bigger bet once I know they missed. The other times that I change my betting are mostly when I have a big hand so I know anyone else in the hand can't be that strong so I make a weak looking bet. Say I raised it 3 times the big blind preflop and flop a set with no real draws I may make a 3 times the BB bet again cause I know that people will call that so I get to build the pot up bet looking like I am making a scared continuation bet then maybe on the turn make a big bet to look like I am stealing the pot. Now some of the better players have started catching onto this and are more likely to fold to my smaller bets than a big one so I do have to change it up person to person but still all the bets make sense and it all works to get called when I want and gets remembered when I am bluffing.
Other bets I may make are I may make a reraise in position when on a draw not an all-in unless I am short stacked but just a reraise from late position to control pot size. If I flop a flush draw and someone makes a 2/3 pot raise from early position I may make a reraise because they will be more likely to check the turn after getting reraised so then I have the option to check the turn to and see the river without calling anywhere close to as much. This also allows me when I check the turn people often see this as a sign that I was stealing and will bet the river at me and if I made my hand can reraise again and extract more chips. For those that may not understand this I will explain it the way I learned it. It was a while ago I was at a $2/1 cash table at ap and from under the gun catch aces. So I make a standard 3.5 times the bb raise to $7 and the button calls everyone else folded, pot $17. Flop at6 with 2 hearts, I bet $10 and get reraised to $22, now I'm sitting her like yep this damn fool is about to mess up cause I know that I am atleast 66% chance to win this hand no matter what he has, but with the reraise I put him on a made hand maybe even ace ten and all but drawing dead, Pot size $61. So turn comes and was a blank so I check to the reraiser planning on check raising this time but he checks. River was hit other heart I'm first to act and bet $45 into him and he comes over the top all-in for around a $100 more. Now I look at the board and realize what he did and I am sitting here with trip aces and had I bet the turn real hard he would have folded instead I have $75 in a $200 pot and can't call. I wanted to soooo bad and even showed my hand. He was nice enough to show his and I asked how the hell he reraised me with a weak draw like that as tight as I was playing? He said he saw me trap so many people already at this table he knew if he reraised I would check raise the turn and if he didn't hit he could have seen the river for free. I was pissed but it made perfect sense and worked great for him. Kind of a expensive lesson but one I learned quick.
So now that I have talked about what goes through my head when I am coming up with a bet can someone please tell me what people are thinking when there is a limped pot worth 100 chips and they go all-in on the flop for 20 times the pot. I know there are different playing styles for every person but this takes maniac aggressive to a whole new level and it seems to happen more and more. I am thinking of calling this style "Retarded Aggressive", I think it fits.