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In order to understand and use the PDF above, you need to watch the following video(s) on bet types, moves and pot manipulation.

Instructional Videos on How to Use the Betting Calculator

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And now on to pot manipulation and pot-proportional betting …

Types of Pots

The type of pot you’re involved in is crucial for determining your optimal line of play:
Limped pots: there was no pre-flop 2-bet, i.e., all players involved only called the big blind;
Remember the adage, “Don’t go broke in a limped pot” (i.e., only play post-flop with 2-pair or better)
Normal pots: i.e., “raised pots” – one 2-bet and one or more cold-callers pre-flop
3bet pots: an open raise and one re-raise with one or more 3-bet callers
4bet pots: involves a re-re-raise pre-flop and one or more 4-bet callers
5bet pots: often an all-in situation pre-flop unless playing with effective deep stacks
Heads-up pots: only two players see the flop
Multi-way pots: three or more players see the flop – players are often more “honest” here
And you can further distinguish this into pots involving steals, re-steals, blind-battles, squeezes, etc.

Poker Bet Types: Equity Calculations and Bet Sizing–Part 3 (Pot-Limit & the “Three-Timin’ Principle”)

General Advice

“Small pots with small hands. Big pots with big hands (i.e., 2-pair+ in Texas Hold’em or 7-stud and highly board-dependent in Omaha)”! Top pair and a good kicker or an over-pair on the flop in Texas Hold’em is a “good hand” … not a “big hand,” and it should always be played with caution, especially when facing more than one opponent!
Limped, raised, 3-bet & 4-bet pots (“Don’t go broke in a limped pot!”)

Poker Bet Types: Equity Calculations and Bet Sizing–Part 4 (The “Three-Timin’ Principle” Continued)

Value Maximization (how to get all-in by the river): Low Stakes: “Sell it when you got it!”
Slow Play (You should almost never do this on 2-suited – 60% of flops – highly connected boards)
Value Betting: extracting value from made hands that could be beaten
Protection: (be aware of the odds you’re giving and the potential EQ/draw s/he has)
Pot Control: (much more effective when IP) and bluff-inducing (ex: x-behind on turn)
Way Ahead/Way Behind: (ex: KK on 28Ar board; AK on 47Kr board vs. 3 opponents)
Avoiding big mistakes in big pots = long-term profit
Limpers/over-limpers and cold-callers in the blinds & middle/late position, as well as players who cold-call and then over-call a squeeze 3bet, are often holding small/middle pairs, max-stretch suited connectors and occasionally Ax suited & Broadway hands.
Always remember that “sets happen” as do 2-pair+, straights and flushes.

Pot-size raise formula: current pot + 2x the amount to call

This bet size always give the player last to act before you 2:1 odds (i.e., s/he needs 33% equity to make the call if going all-in or a 33% probability of hitting the flop or completing a draw post-flop).

  • Open raise ex.: 1.5 for the blinds, 1 to call: your max pot-size raise = 3.5 BBs
  • Flop raise ex.: pot = 8 BBs, SB bets 6 BBs –> your raise size = (8+6)+(2*6) = 26 BBs


“Fold-equity” you need (i.e., the percentage of the time your opponent(s) must fold) in order for you to break even (your bluff bet is expressed as a fraction of total pot size) and the pot odds the villain is getting with his or her respective equity required in order to make the call and at least break even in the long run:

Your Bluff Size & Fold Equity Needed to Break-Even Villain’s Pot-Odds & Equity (e.g., the probability of completing a draw) Needed to Make the Call
1/4 Pot 20.0% 5 : 1 16.7%
1/3 Pot 25.0% 4 : 1 20.0%
1/2 Pot 33.3% 3 : 1 25.0%
2/3 Pot 40.0% 2.5 : 1 28.6%
3/4 Pot 43.0% 2.33 : 1 30.3%
1 Pot 50.0% 2 : 1 33.3%
2 Pot 67.0% 1.5 : 1 40.0%
3 Pot 75.0% 1.33 : 1 43.5%
4 Pot 80.0% 1.25 : 1 44.4%

Strategy Recap and What’s to Come for Our Members

Understanding pot-proportional betting and when you should play our hand to inflate the pot or when you should opt for “pot control” is one of the key factors that separates only decent or good players from poker experts. As always, let your position, your holding, the type or style of players at your table and the respective stack sizes guide your decisions when faced with a check, bet, raise or rereaise and adhere to the PIP principle as often as possible: position + initiateive = profit! Above you’ve learned about the different types of pots in relation with your bet types, bet sizing and “moves.” Now it’s time to learn how to approach hands with respect to entire “lines of play” from you and your opponents from pre-flop to the river.

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