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When to make a HUGE value bet

Here’s a fundamental truth of poker. You win the most chips when you get the most out of your value hands. Seems simple, right?

Well, you might be surprised just how often you could be leaving chips on the table. Have you ever been holding the nuts and decided to just put in a small value bet just because you’re desperate for a call? Sure, it may be easier to hero call a ½ pot or less bet on the river when you’re holding the top pair. But what about the times when they WOULD call that 2x or 3x pot bet?

Let’s say you’re holding the nuts on the river in a small pot of only 8 big binds (Bbs). You know that you could get a call on a 2 BB bet most of the time. But what if you bet 16 or 24 BB instead?

Photo: 888 Poker

The Overbet Exploit

Making this move will require a good read on your opponent. A lot of people will overfold to overbets, meaning that you can use this move on tight players as a bluff to get them to give up the pot more often than not. People will often fold top pair and middle pair to such a bluff.

On the other hand, if you’re playing against a more calling-station type player who can’t seem to find the fold button, there’s no reason not to go for the overbet when you’re holding a strong value hand. In this situation, we want to bet as much as we can get away with.

While it’s not always going to be the right time to make big overbets, it should be a part of your arsenal. You have to mix it up to be a winning poker player. So, when the time is right, dial it in and make the huge bet as an exploit.

That’s how you get full value when you do get called. Don’t be afraid to go for you. You only need to get paid off a couple of times before you realize that there are few things better in life than winning the most chips possible with your premium hands.

So, next time you’re sitting on the river with the nuts, try it out. You might just find yourself with a huge stack in no time.


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