Online Opening Bet Size

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IDntEatFsh

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I've noticed a lot of players opening with 2BB bets at online SnGs. Books I have read all warn that this is too small a bet. What am I missing?
 
deputat777

deputat777

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Play according to the situation, and open as you want. Books can be to your detriment to read)
 
I

IDntEatFsh

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Play according to the situation, and open as you want. Books can be to your detriment to read)


Yes, and they can help too. I am not asking anybody to tell me what I should do, I am interested to hear peoples thoughts and rationales on various approaches so that, hopefully, I can then make a more informed decision.

I vary my opening bet size a little depending on who I am betting against. I will bet slightly less against a tighter opponent and slightly more against those who call more. My aim is to hit the sweet spot of being heads up against a single opponent with some idea of their calling range.
 
Collin Moshman

Collin Moshman

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Generally you should vary raise-size based on effective stack.

At 80bb, min-raising is usually smaller than ideal. But at 15-30bb, if you're raising without moving all-in, min-raising tends to be the best raise sizing.
 
I

IDntEatFsh

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Generally you should vary raise-size based on effective stack.

At 80bb, min-raising is usually smaller than ideal. But at 15-30bb, if you're raising without moving all-in, min-raising tends to be the best raise sizing.


This is brilliant additional info, thanks Collin!
 
Phoenix Wright

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Yes, it is largely about effective stacks. As long as you have a solid "method" for your open-raising size, then I'd just stick with it. Obviously, open-raises for 3x, 2.5x, or 2x are fairly common with these shorter effective stacks of many online games, but sometimes you'll also see "weird" sizing of random decimals. Things like 3.32x or 2.68x. I'm not entirely sure why those players consistently open-raise some strange decimal like that, but I assume it is some percentage or ratio to big blinds or something similar. I just notice to see if they vary the sizing or not. Even if the amount is "strange", yet consistent, then I just interpret that as their "default" open-raise size.

Also worth noting is that it is common to add 1x per limper. If someone makes it 3.25x with one limper in front, then many times this means their "default" open-raise size was 2.25x.

Generally speaking, lower raise sizes means their range of hands is wider and you are able to call more often (due to being given better pot odds to continue). Conversely, larger sizing less frequently tends to translate into them having a tighter range and therefore, you should be more inclined to fold.

One last thing (I got a lot of little things to say don't I? :D ), this changes when short stacked. At this point, you are either shove-fold mode, or are making smaller bets all around. We don't want to be in a pot with something like 20bb in our stack, continuing to bring us down to 10bbs and then folding for the rest; this is almost never correct (because 50% of your stack is a ton to invest on a hand you voluntarily fold - maybe 25% or less of your stack you could maybe get away with though). If your calling a raise (or open-raising/c-betting yourself if you were the aggressor) would commit too much of your entire stack to the pot, then you might as well just fold preflop or shove All-In preflop.
 
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leeroy818

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Hey! Thought I'd add something to this...

The smaller opening size from the steal positions gives you a better price on the steal - i.e. a 2x open from the BU doesn't need to work nearly as often as a 3x open. It also means you can raise more speculative hands from CO/BU and still fold to 3bets/shoves without it costing too much.

I think sizing based on effective stacks is the best thing to consider first. After that, what you're trying to achieve (do you want folds, or are you just trying to build a bigger pot?), and then opponents - are they going to call no matter if you raise 2x or 3.5x? Those inelastic players (so the ones who will call a raise at the same frequency regardless of the size) are the best candidates to size up for when you're value betting!
 
I

IDntEatFsh

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Also worth noting is that it is common to add 1x per limper. If someone makes it 3.25x with one limper in front, then many times this means their "default" open-raise size was 2.25x.

Yes, I usually do take account of limpers when thinking about raises. Though if I am multitasking, I sometimes miss limpers. Mea culpa.

Generally speaking, lower raise sizes means their range of hands is wider and you are able to call more often (due to being given better pot odds to continue). Conversely, larger sizing less frequently tends to translate into them having a tighter range and therefore, you should be more inclined to fold.

This is insightful, I will bear it in mind.

One last thing (I got a lot of little things to say don't I? :D ), this changes when short stacked. At this point, you are either shove-fold mode, or are making smaller bets all around. We don't want to be in a pot with something like 20bb in our stack, continuing to bring us down to 10bbs and then folding for the rest; this is almost never correct (because 50% of your stack is a ton to invest on a hand you voluntarily fold - maybe 25% or less of your stack you could maybe get away with though). If your calling a raise (or open-raising/c-betting yourself if you were the aggressor) would commit too much of your entire stack to the pot, then you might as well just fold preflop or shove All-In preflop.

Fold / Shove is one of the next topics I am looking at improving my game with. I tend to let my stack diminish too far too often.
 
I

IDntEatFsh

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The smaller opening size from the steal positions gives you a better price on the steal - i.e. a 2x open from the BU doesn't need to work nearly as often as a 3x open. It also means you can raise more speculative hands from CO/BU and still fold to 3bets/shoves without it costing too much.


Yes, I think that's similar and aligned with what Phoenix was saying:
Generally speaking, lower raise sizes means their range of hands is wider and you are able to call more often (due to being given better pot odds to continue). Conversely, larger sizing less frequently tends to translate into them having a tighter range and therefore, you should be more inclined to fold.
and then opponents - are they going to call no matter if you raise 2x or 3.5x? Those inelastic players (so the ones who will call a raise at the same frequency regardless of the size) are the best candidates to size up for when you're value betting!


That's my main criteria for changing my opening bet size; is there someone with a propensity to call with air no matter what behind me? If so, I increase my opening bet size or don't play the hand. Like the chap who put me out yesterday. I think you won that in the end did you? Fair play! People like the guy to your right wind me up more than they should and there have been a lot of them recently.
 
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