Amateur poker players might play poker online without knowing how to face a bet properly. Advanced poker players, on the other hand, know how to make the proper decisions when facing a bet that is on the river, on the turn, or on the flop. If you can master this kind of decision making, then you will become a better poker player.
Each time you face any kind of bet, you have to ask yourself three questions. The players who win are the ones who can answer these questions accurately. Will this player be you?
Let’s take a look at those three questions and examine them further.
1) What is my poker range?
Your poker range represents all the possible hands you could be dealt from a given hand. As a beginner, you may not fully understand what a poker range typically looks like. That is why we’re going to show you a grid explaining how poker ranges work. Bear in mind that grids such as this one appear in almost all poker training and analytics software.
The “o” indicates it is an off-suit hand while the “s” stands for a suited hand. For instance, T♠8♦ (ten of spades & eight of diamonds) is a non-suited hand – T8o
A♥K♥ (ace of hearts & king of hearts) is a suited hand – AKs
All the hands you see in that table represent all the possible hands one can be dealt in a poker game. But as the game progresses, each time you make a new decision on a street, your range starts to shrink. Meaning the possible option of hands you have going into the is reducing.
A player who understands their range can make good decisions about their flop throughout the progression of their hand.
Do not get mad at yourself if it takes you time to understand what your ranges are. A new player is not going to understand their range immediately. It takes a lot of studying and experience before you can quickly recognize your range on each street. That is what separates the advanced poker players from the novices.
2) What is the poker range of my opponent?
When playing on situs poker online, it is not enough to only know your poker range. You must also make yourself mindful of your opponent’s range as well. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out their range if you focus on each action they take.
How much do they raise on each bet? Are they slow playing? What does their strategy seem to be? Are they likely to fold anytime soon? Consider these sub-questions as you contemplate their poker range. And remember as their hand progresses, their range will narrow just like yours.
When you understand what your opponent’s range is, it becomes easy to dictate play and put them in a difficult position.
It is important to put your opponents in difficult spots by making your range as wide as reasonably possible. You can do this by playing large portions of your range in the same way.
3) What are the pot odds of the bet?
Pot odds is the ratio of the total pot size versus the bet size. Whenever someone places a bet, it gets added to the pot size. For instance, let’s say $4 is in the pot and a player bets $1. The ratio of the pot odds is 5 to 1. Because of this, you are required to bet 20% of the total pot amount if you want to try and win everything in the pot.
It is much easier to figure out the pot odds of smaller bets and pots. Once players start adding hundreds of dollars to the pot, then the math gets a little more complicated. However, it will help you understand the risk versus reward of your bets. If the pot size is large enough, you might consider risking more of your money to seek a higher reward.
Get used to asking yourself these three questions whenever you face a bet. As you play more poker games and get yourself acquainted with more materials like this, it will get easier to answer those questions on the spot.
Based on the answers, you will know the right decisions to make no matter what the stakes are on the table. Although you may not be right every time, you will increase your likelihood of making more profitable decisions with your hand.