Betting is one of the best advantages that No-Limit Hold'em offers. You can bet any amount at any given time, so it's important to develop a betting strategy that will help you win.
In my experience, there are two tactics used in successful betting:
- Knowing how much a player is willing to call
- Betting specific amounts to trigger a response in an opponent
How Much Will He Call?
Knowing how much a player will call is vital to successful betting. The key is figuring out what kind of player you're up against, as well as his mood in general. If you upset a player, he may call a bit more than usual, or if he's a very tight player, you may have to bet a little less to get more out of him.
You'll also want to pay attention to a player's betting patterns. If he's betting big you may need to bump up your bet size just a little. In addition, watch out for check-raises because you may not want to bet at all if you think you're beat.
Betting the Right Amounts
There's a certain strategy to betting the right amounts in order to get the best value from your hand. I love betting the right amounts in No-Limit Hold'em because it really pays off. Using a No-Limit short-handed cash game with a maximum buy-in of $600 and blinds at $3/$6, I'll show you some really cool betting tricks you may want to add to your arsenal.
I like to use this huge raise pre-flop to induce callers when I hold a premium hand. One advantage it holds is being an even number, which people will generally call with more ease. The exception to this is if you throw out a $100 chip because it will intimidate players rather than draw them in.
I like to raise this amount with high pocket pairs such as 10-10. Although it's smaller, it will appear scarier than $20 with the extra $4 added on. To make it scarier, bet $23. Odd numbers have the opposite effect of even ones and will most likely reduce callers.
$12 raise (raising double)
I almost never raise double, especially with pocket aces or kings. I hate people who do this with these hands because the idea is to create a heads-up situation with them. The only thing it's good for is raising with a crap hand to create a crazy table image.
This is one of my favorite betting techniques. When I have aces or hit my hand on the flop and want callers, I'll keep betting a little more each round to get my opponent pot-committed. For example, with pocket aces I'll raise about $30 pre-flop, and then bet $48 on the flop, with another $64 on the turn. By that time, my opponent will hopefully be pot-committed and I can take him all-in on the river.
These are just examples and you don't have to precisely follow them to become a great bettor. Experiment with them and have fun; consider them useful little tricks that can amount to extra profit.