River bets: 1 in 5 is all you need to make more money.

titans4ever

titans4ever

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Everyone wants to max the value of their good hands, especially on the river. How much do you bet to keep them in and pay you off? Everyone is told and thinks to bet small to induce the call most of the time. It seems safe and works most of the time but are you really maximizing your money? How many times to do you need to get called with a larger bet to make the same or more money?

Example:
$25 NL game. You flopped top set and have bet it out from the flop with just one caller. The pot stands at $6 with a safe board (no straights or flushes possible). You are now trying to extract as much as you can for max value. What is your bet? The small safe $2 bet or the push the pot ($6).

Right now most will say bet the $2 because you get called more often. Say you get a call 60% of the time. Your average winnings for the hand will be $6(.4)+$10(.6) = $8.40. We will consider this the baseline since this is where most people are at right now.

How many times do you need to be called for the pot size bet to make it more profitable? 10%? 20%? Let's say you will only get called 1 in 5 times or 20%. Your average earning will be $6(.80)+ $18(.20) = $8.40. What? You increased your bet but called way less but are making the same amount of money.

You will only need to get called more than 1 in 5 times to start making more money on the river by betting out more and hoping for that call.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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This is more for cash players, that is why I used the cash game example.

In a tournament you can debate that you want to bet the smaller amount to extract as much as you can as fast as you can. You cannot wait for that 1 in 5 times to cash in big. You need to get as much as you can out of each hand individually, not over the long haul. You need to keep chipping away at players since the blinds go up.
 
tenbob

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Nice post.

Dont forget however there are possibities here for bets on further streets. Betting your bigger amount may net you more on the FLOP but limit your action on the turn and river. You should assume that the player that calls $2 on the flop will call $4 on the turn, and possibly another large bet on the river. You need to be careful about killing your action for the remainder of the hand.

Ususally id be strongly in favour of a smaller probe bet, in the attempt to feign weakness and hope to get raised, or to built the pot so my $4 turn bet also looks slightly iffy.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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Nice post.

Dont forget however there are possibities here for bets on further streets.

This was for river bets. I just took a number for the size of the pot on the turn to make the math alittle easier to do and see. I have been on a math and probabilities kick and wanted to see what would happen and the chances you needed to make more by betting more and getting called less often in a cash game.

I played a session of 120 hands and just kept track on the side of how often I get called on river with pot size bet. I am running at 27% so I am making alittle more profit than what I was making doing the smaller river bets. Now I just need to extend this to a couple thousands to see if it makes a difference long term.
 
NineLions

NineLions

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Generally, what size bets do you figure you're making leading up to that point?

I know it's a pretty generalized kinda question, but I'm just thinking that if you're making pot sized bets leading up to the river it's one thing, but if you're making 1/2 pot bets it's another.
 
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Stefanicov

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gus hanson put it best if u always put out the small bt to get the calls what do you gain the missed draws will never call but the hands that have to call the river get off cheap. With bigger bets the missed draws still dont call yet the people who have to call pay way more

^^^^ kinda edited
 
Emperor IX

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What do you think about a 2/3 pot bet? It's what I would probably do, but I want some other insight, seeing as it's stronger than a minbet and probably not a bluff..
 
Stefanicov

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If u ahead on the river if u have bet right should take at least half his stack with a river bet
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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As far as how big are my bets? It vary greatly depending on how many players are in the pot and the texture of the flop for draws. I usually am betting between 1/2 to a full pot size bet most of the time. My article that I wrote for the contest is what I usually bet with some variance. https://www.cardschat.com/forum/suggestions-questions-announcements-6/article-contest-results-prizes-84173/
If I know someone calls large bets no matter what, that is what I will do. Tight players you have to bet alittle less to keep them in.

You have to assume the other player hit the flop and will call your bets. Like Stef posted, the draws etc will fold even if you minimum bet most of the time. Your river bets are made on the assumption that your opponent will have enough a decision to call. You are trying to extract the most out of his mistake to make the call.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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What do you think about a 2/3 pot bet? It's what I would probably do, but I want some other insight, seeing as it's stronger than a minbet and probably not a bluff..

How often do you get called with that bet? 1/3 of the time?

Your expected value would be $6(.66) + $14(.33) = $8.56 That is better than the two that I showed previously. This just goes to show that these little bets are losing the average person money because of fear of the no calls.

Here is where I am at so far with my experiment. I am running at 27% calling so far for the pot size bets. $6(.73) + $18(.27) = $9.24

I don't know the percentages of callers on the pot size bet till I get a couple thousand hands under my belt at this level. I just wanted to show that you could be losing money by not betting more on the river than these little "please, you have to call this" bets.

The other trick is you are putting more pressure on your opponent the larger you bet is. This can push out hands that are equal or maybe even slightly better than your, thus you get called less. You will also maximize the mistakes of the players who do call you when you have them beat.
 
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NineLions

NineLions

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I like the thinking, titan.

I usually size my bets with the thinking, what might they call, but then I am not really positive what hands they have. With a standard that some will call, some won't call, you should be finding an edge where over the long term you're winning more money.


Last night I led at a flush draw from the flop with a Qxs, K or A of the suit was on the table. Led again on the turn, and then on the river the flush finished. I bet something I thought the two callers might call, but it turned out one hit a straight and the other had the Jx flush. Both had better hands than I thought and I could have made more with a bigger bet.
 
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