Opening raise bet sizing

dcenterdcenter Red Chipper Posts: 52
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
Hello all,

I have a question about whether What I am doing is wrong or right, and why.

I play only 1/2 NL cash (this is not a tourney question). I have developed the habit of always opening for $15, with very few exceptions. I will vary the bet if I have several limpers in the pot before me, but then tend to make it $20 or $25 to go, based upon the number of limpers. I see quite a few limpers in my games, and $15 doesn't seem to run many of them out. $20 works well, and I reserve $25 for a crazy number of limpers like maybe 5. But the vast majority of my opens are for $15. Some of the regulars that I play with actually call me Mr. 15 sometimes because I am so consistent. I do this in order to avoid giving away information. I see other peoples bet sizes pre, and I have begun to make decisions based on what I see as a tell. This just reinforces that my static sizing is the correct thing. I have read books that say to open so many big blinds and so many more for each limper, but this repetition seems to be having a psychological effect of the opposition, or at least I think it does. But then again, that psychological stuff could all be in my head.

Now, do my compadres agree with me, or am I missing something? I am hoping for tangible intel here, thanks in advance.



  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use a 12-17-22-27 as a guideline. There are several other factors you have to consider and I would worry less about balanced bet sizing at the low levels.

    #1 are you betting to get folds or betting for value?

    #2 what is the most you have seen them call preflop and what hand did they have? How does their range compare to yours?

    #3 are you in or out of position?

    #4 what are the stack sizes?

    #5 do they fold to cbets when they miss?

    What is your plan with your bet sizing? Say there are two limpers and you raise to $20. Both of them call and you have AK. Pot is now about $60 and flop is JT8. Spr is 3.5. There are going to be several tough spots like this where your preflop bet sizing is going to play a huge part on how the rest of the hand plays out.

    You seem to be on the right track just have to understand the why?

    For example one hand guy limped in with $80 stack and i held JJ and tried to iso for value to $15. Before this hand i had QQ but his stack was $150 or so so i made it $20. Don't worry about people trying to figure you out. They are mostly level 1 and play their hands and wanna see flops.
  • ScottValScottVal Red Chipper Posts: 108
    I like the formula which is presented in a few different books, which is to open-raise to about three or four times the big blind. So I compromise and open-raise to 3.5 big blinds, or $7 in my 1-2 game. I do this all the time, so I don't believe I'm giving away any tells. (Lately I haven't been limping at all.)

    If there is a limper in front of me, I raise to $8, and I add $2 for each limper. If I'm on the button, I raise a little less, normally $2 less. If I'm in the blinds, I'll raise a bit more, like about 20% more.

    You might want to play a session using the above guidelines, just to see what happens!

    There's a real aggressive, "action" guy who sometimes plays in my game, and if I just raise to seven he'll almost always raise to 20. I think this is because he thinks seven just isn't enough. It doesn't have much to do with his hand strength. So if he's in the game, I'll raise a bit more just to keep him from re-raising all the time. First-in, I might make it 10 or 15, and he'll often just call that.

    -Scott V.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Raising small $7 is usually bad idea due to rake and how loose games are live. If i bet $7 in my game almost guarenteed 5 way want more value for your hand and to have a chance of playing heads up. $7 they are playing anything suited.
  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    Wassup buddy,

    I made a video on this that you can search in the pro vid section.
    Good luck.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    being consistent is only valuable if you're playing in a tourney or with folks who really pay attention to your sizing.

    what you're doing is somewhat "GTO" - which is great when you're playing Ivey or Berkey. But in your games, I think you're probably leaving money on the table. In the lowest limit games - an "exploitative" strategy typically garners more profits.

    Austin asks a lot of good questions about position, stack sizes, value vs. bluffs, table dynamics, player images, etc. etc.

    Yeah, it's "easier" to play like a robot. But personally, I like the challenge of finding that "perfect number" that gets my Vs to put the most money in when they're behind. Or folding their equity when they're ahead. I want my bets to make my opponents do what I want them to do.
  • ImperatorImperator Red Chipper Posts: 898 ✭✭✭
    I think I want to follow all of @kagey 's forum posts. Just read 4 in a row i liked very much.
  • 7he.omniknigh77he.omniknigh7 Red Chipper Posts: 15
    Live games are so different. In online a raise is a raise, so min-raise, haha!

    I just stopped opening pots from early when playing live (BTN, CO, HJ, LJ and that's it.) when i open from EP i make sure i have QQ+. Hate playing OOP.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    I don't play 1-2. $15 seems large. There is a guy in my player pool that does big opens with mixed results.

    I will call him Mr. D and in the $5/$5 game his base raise is $50 (standard is $20-$25). This is a huge opening and at first he gets little action except by premium hands. So often he just picks up the blinds.

    Mr. D isn't the tightest player in the world so he opens often enough. After a while of opening for $50, the Rec players will start calling him. After all, they came to the casino to play. If Mr. D wins a few hands with hands like A8s and KJs for $50... then $50 becomes accepted by the Rec Players. He ends up getting lots of action.

    I have seen this work well for Mr. D with this huge winnings. There are times when people adjust and exploit this with limp/raises and 3b and destroy him.

    In my view Poker is about adjustments and if your opponents are not adjusting or making the right adjustments then exploitative plays like huge opens, playing very loose and 100% cBetting work. But these are all exploitative and will lead to disaster against smart, reactive opponents making the right adjustments.
  • AlHindiAlHindi Red Chipper Posts: 22 ✭✭
    I think that idea of mixing up or having uniform bet sizing does not go well at $1-$2 NL level, at least at place I play. Most players are fishy + NITS. If you raise suited connectors at $15 with ( $200 stack ) you are creating small SPRs. The fish will beat you because you are creating small SPRs with connectors or suited As. The fish will call you with AJo or something & you will end up with large pot. The fish will refuse to let go of his hand if he fits the flop anyway.

    So unless you can sense that most players at your table are skilled & better than you do not worry about uniform bet sizing for "Hiding" your hand. The players most of the time play their hands and most won't even know what stack sizes are at play.

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