This is a discussion on Bet-Sizing in Microlimits... within the online poker forums, in the Cash Games section; I'm looking over my hands, and reading over some of the responses to my recent request for hand analysis and one of the responders said
I'm looking over my hands, and reading over some of the responses to my recent request for hand analysis and one of the responders said something that really got me thinking.
Much of the literature that I've read seems to be more for higher stakes poker, and so the bet-sizes are usually designed to have a minimum gap between odds you give a player and the odds the player needs to win draw for a hand, but enough to make it profitable. So I've been going with half-pot bets for the most part if there is a flush draw or a straight draw.
But based on what I've been reading in these forums, that bet size is not enough at the microlimits (2NL) to exploit bad players for maximum profit... but might be adequate for higher limit tables where presumably, players are better and play the odds better. Is there truth to this in your observation? When playing 2NL tables, are many of the fish and non-regulars just so happy to see a flush draw on their suited hole cards that they will call just about anything on turn and river just to get their hand? And if so, I am guessing that each level up I go, my bet sizing probably needs to be toned down a bit more?
If that's the case, I really need to start throwing pot-sized bets or higher on wet boards if I have a decent hand to exploit this huh (if I am putting an opponent on a drawing hand)? Put in at least a pot-sized bet if I'm up against a non-regular, and maybe higher. I might occasionally get punished by a suckout, but I'd like to think that if I get someone to call on that large of a bet, I should be pretty happy in the long run right?
I think it's much more important to use exploitative bet sizes in micros as players tendencies will have some pretty big holes it in.
For instance, if you've noticed that a player has a tendency to over fold, you can make your flop c bet smaller as you're putting less at risk for what will often be the same result. Also if you notice a villain has a tendency to over call you can increase your bet size to try and exploit this.
For hands like draws I think that players at the lower stakes will tend to be on either side of the extreme between over calling and over folding but both are exploitative. The amount of times I've jammed top two into opponents and have them call with questionable draws is astonishing.
I truly believe that understanding what bet sizing can be used when and where to be one of the biggest differences between a average reg and a top tier pro.
You can definitely gain a lot of edge at 2NL by tailoring your bet size to the situation and opponent rather than just always click half pot. I recommend checking out Blackrain79. He is the all time highest winner at 2NL and 5NL and goes a lot into things like exploitative overbetting for value in his material. He has a Youtube channel and his own webpage.
Basically as someone said, a lot of players at a limit like 2NL dont think correctly about pot odds. They dont see your bet as 35BB or 120% of the pot. They see 70c, which is the price of nothing. So if they like their hand, they are going to call 70c just as much as 40c. Some also see big bets as bluffs, and they love to police the tables.
Beating 2NL is honestly almost absurdly simple. Get maksimum value from your big hands, get away cheap, when you have the second best hand, and only try to steal those pots, that nobody seem to be willing to fight for. Dont try a triple barrel, unless its the most pristine spot. You will get called down by bottom pair and go on tilt, when you see, what the fish called you with.