Over the last 15 years, No Limit Hold’em has gone through a drastic transformation. So much has changed about the way people play and think about the game that it’s hard to even know where to begin.
But what stands out most in my mind is how different c-bet sizing strategies were used in the past.
I remember watching episodes of High Stakes Poker back in the day when pot-size flop c-bets were common.
If an opponent was frequently using a small bet size, it was an almost sure-fire indicator that they didn’t know what they were doing.
But if you’ve been following the developments of popular poker strategy, you know that this is no longer the case.
Nowadays, small bets (in particular ⅓ pot-sized bets) have become the new standard in a lot of situations, and for good reason:
Small bet sizing strategies are generally easy to understand and execute
They make money in a ton of situations with very little risk
But poker, like all great games, is predicated on good players needing to adapt and reinvent in order to continue to sustain or increase their win-rate.
With that in mind, it’s worth considering the question: when should you bet big?
To answer that question, you should first consider the advantages of betting big. That’s what the rest of this article covers, with a focus on flop play as the preflop raiser.
In his latest Upswing Lab module How to Use Big Flop Bets, Upswing Coach Ryan Riske goes over some of the often-not-thought-about advantages to knowing how and when to go big on the flop. In this article, we’ll be going over 3 advantages for why a big flop bet strategy is worth implementing into your arsenal.
Advantage #1: Big Flop Bets are Hard to Play Against
One of the main advantages of small bet sizing strategies are their ease of execution. However, small bet sizes are often relatively easy for our opponents to play against.
Coach Ryan explains that one of the most underappreciated advantages of a big flop sizing strategy is that it forces our opponents into making more difficult decisions.
For example, if our opponent is faced with a standard ⅓ flop c-bet on a board like A♠ K♥ 6♣, it’s very difficult for him to make any huge mistakes. Even average recreational players know that facing a small bet on this board, they can probably call with all pairs and gutshot straight draws .
But now consider if our opponent faces a pot-sized bet (or even a 150% pot-sized bet) on A♠ K♥ 6♣. Facing a huge flop bet in this scenario is almost certainly not a situation our opponent comes across very often. And, in response, he will likely need to do some thinking on his feet to try to come up with an appropriate response.
Ryan explains that with a big sizing strategy, our opponent will make more mistakes (and for larger amounts of big blinds) than they would if we bet small.