Pre-flop Bet Sizing and Thought Process

MoscowRadio

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Barry Greenstein is known for keeping his pre-flop raises generally the same amount, whether he has AA or 56. The idea behind this is to not give away any information regarding the strength of his hand.

Now there's the matter of stack-to-pot ratios (SPRs) which, while relatively new, can help a player manipulate the pot and make their post-flop decisions easier. However, I believe that using SPRs can give away a player's hand strength due to the amount they bet.

My question is this: which method do you think is more practical, what approach to pre-flop bet sizing do you use and why?
 
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xt!

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In plo my bet sizing pf is almost always pot for opens and about 75% pot for 3 bets. Depending on specifics about stack sizes, feeler bets, attempts to induce, etc.

In NLHE (2-5 and 5-t size games) my rule is open for 4x bb, add 1bb for every limper, add 1bb if utg, less 1bb if btn. I very rarely limp. Bet sizing completely disguises my hand strength and naturally leads to me playing larger pots from position more frequently.

3bet sizing is more likely to be based on what my goal is: value, bluff, isolate, induce, etc... Also I give a lot of consideration to stack sizes and position. I'd say I generally 3bet a bit over 3x the open size and add some for every caller. I also use same thoughts for 4 betting, and I 3 and 4 bet very frequently when stack sizes allow.

For 1-2 games I tend to default to 15 for an open (I play very little 1-2 though) for 10-20 or bigger 3x the bb +1 per limper is the default and I don't adjust for position (this is standard in a lot of 10-20 size games.) 3 and 4 betting is also more frequent and typically smaller relative to the blinds.
 

bergs

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At 1/2, very, very people are going to be thinking about your SPR. Regardless, I'll be $12 in earlier position and $15 in later position with ATC.

You get more thinking players (not a lot, but more than 1/2) at 2/5 which is where most of my play is. I'll raise pre to $20-25 unless there are more than 5 limpers in the hand, and then I make it $30-35.

My standard 3-bet is 3-4X the original raiser. You see a lot of guys at 1/2 raising to $7 and I'll make it $21 to go with anything 1 gap connectors, 2 suited cards, or anything better. At 2/5 I tend to respect position a bit more and only do this from LP - most guys at 2/5 (at Foxwoods and Mohegan anyway) raise pre to $25 so I'm usually bumping it to $80.

I wonder sometimes if paying careful attention to pre flop betting is even important if you have a very, very loose image. Barry is a goddamn nit, so he's gotta disguise his holdings, but most sessions I play, I could raise to $100 preflop and still get 3 callers that put me on A-rag or worse.
 

DrStrange

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Cash game only . . . .

Even in my home games, the players are not that observant. I pay more attention to getting the right SPR for the hand than I do trying to deceive the villains.

The natural evolution of a session dictates what I can raise. Early on, I might raise it / take it with a $10 raise. Near the end of a session I might get five callers with a $20 raise or a $100 3-bet.

DrStrange
 

xt!

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I thought of this thread last night when twice a tight opponent decided to play for deep stacks with tpgk where they were making comments about how I could have anything. "You could have anything, you raise with everything you play" was my favorite comment I heard after I shoved.
 

DrStrange

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Tight players are often unable to properly play a deep stack and ignorant of that fact. They act like 500bb deep plays the same as 50bb. People who play any two cards are cannon fodder at 50bb deep, but they are generally the big winner playing 500bb deep.

DrStrange
 

xt!

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Do you think it's common for a tight thinking player to stack off for 200 blinds calling with KQ on a 25Q rainbow board?
 

Luk_nuts

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Do you think it's common for a tight thinking player to stack off for 200 blinds calling with KQ on a 25Q rainbow board?

no, a thinking player wouldnt allow an opponent to get in 200 bigs on the flop imo.
 

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Tight does not equal thinking. It is not uncommon for a tight player to be a small winner just based on his preflop hand selection if the stack sizes are small and not be thinking much at all.

A tight player who is thinking might avoid getting stacked on that dry flop depending on the villain. I could see such a player getting burned for a 1/4 to 1/2 his stack though.

Against my kind of villain? I'd happily get it in and expect to see all sorts of nonsense.

DrStrange
 

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Tight does not equal thinking. It is not uncommon for a tight player to be a small winner just based on his preflop hand selection if the stack sizes are small and not be thinking much at all.

A tight player who is thinking might avoid getting stacked on that dry flop depending on the villain. I could see such a player getting burned for a 1/4 to 1/2 his stack though.

Against my kind of villain? I'd happily get it in and expect to see all sorts of nonsense.

DrStrange

Do you let me in your game? :)
 

xt!

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In these particular hands which made me think about this thread the players were tight & thinking players. I think you hit the biggest difference between our available games right on the head. It is very hard to find a game where players routinely go broke for 200 blinds with kq on that type of board, but I believe that more active pre flop play with wide ranges to disguise hand strength greatly increases how often you can make it happen.
 

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"Thinking" is relative to different situations, and history/leveling will come into play a lot. I once got a "tight, thinking player" to stack off for 140bb with J9 on a 988 flop, that went to the flop with 12 bb in the pot. I had A9. I still remember that years later as one of the best plays I ever made.

The river was a J. :mad:
 

xt!

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Ben, I hear ya... Also trying not to be results oriented. One of the hands I mentioned we got a few hundred bb in on the turn after I 3bet from sb with aa. The board was jqk7cc he had ak no c and hit a k on the river. I was pretty happy with the hand, just not the result, or with him celebrating the win and immediately racking up.
 

bergs

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"Thinking" is relative to different situations, and history/leveling will come into play a lot. I once got a "tight, thinking player" to stack off for 140bb with J9 on a 988 flop, that went to the flop with 12 bb in the pot. I had A9. I still remember that years later as one of the best plays I ever made.

The river was a J. :mad:

I got a player last week at Foxwoods 1/2 to stack off 250bb with AK versus my 83 on a 235 flop.

(Turn A, river K, not sure who was the donkey, me or him...maybe both).
 
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jja412

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I got a player last week at Foxwoods 1/2 to stack off 250bb with AK versus my 83 on a 235 flop.

(Turn A, river K, not sure who was the donkey, me or him...maybe both).

My snap call was "both". That being said, I have no doubt if I sat across the table from you, you would chew me up and spit me out in short order.
 
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