Dec 17 2009

Building a Pot

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: 2

What is a strong hand in poker if you are unable to earn any money from it? If you make a strong hand you will need to build up the pot. Extracting max value is one part of the equation, but you have to start somewhere. Igniting the fire is often the most difficult part when trying to build up a substantial pot. There are a handful of different ways that a pot can be built depending on the situation. If you are holding the absolute nuts it is likely that a value bet would be effective. Value bets are not going to be effective, however, when you are on a strong draw. If you are holding a mediocre hand you might not want to build up too large of a pot at all.

Your opponent is going to play a big role when deciding the best route for building up a pot. If they are loose it will be easy to make substantial value bets and get paid off. If your opponent is tight you will need to make smaller value bets. The best type of opponent is a spastic players. You can build up a pot against these types of players by throwing out teaser bets. Teaser bets are small bets that are designed to garner a reaction. Spastic players will often see a teaser bet and then make an unnecessarily large re raise. Take a look below for an example of a teaser bet and why it is effective.

No-Limit Hold’em, $0.50 BB (6-Max) @ Full Tilt

Hero (Button) ($76.97)

SB ($27.45)

BB ($97.43)

Preflop: Hero is Button with Ad, Qd

Hero bets $1.75, 1 fold, BB raises to $6, Hero calls $4.25

Pre flop we will need to open raise as we are dealt a suited A Q. We are then 3 bet by the big blind. It is generally a bad idea to simply call a 3 bet (as opposed to raising or folding), but we are in position and can make the call.

Flop: ($12.25) Ac, 2d, 5d (2 players)

BB checks, Hero bets $7.50, BB raises to $91.43 (All-In), Hero calls $63.47 (All-In)

The flop is great for our hand, not only did we hit top pair but we also have the nut flush draw. The big blind checks to us and we can now make a teaser bet. $7.50 into the $12.25 pot is just the right size for our spastic opponent to flip out and raise us. The spastic player accommodates us and makes a huge over bet shove all in. We of course make the call and are roughly even money. They happened to just barely have us beat with A K, but our call is still solid because of the flush draw. We lost this particular pot, but more often than not we will take it down.

Turn: ($154.19) 7c (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($154.19) 8c (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $154.19 | Rake: $2


Hero had Ad, Qd (one pair, Aces).

BB had As, Ks (one pair, Aces).

Outcome: BB won $304.38

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