Reasons to bet in NLHE Poker

In this article then we will be looking at betting and raising in online poker and the underlying strategy behind why you make these actions. You need to be responsible for everything that you do at the poker table and this means understanding and knowing why you bet and raise.

Firstly let us look at the situations in online poker when you either have or you think that you have the best hand. In this instance then you clearly want to get more money into the pot and this is a sound reason for either betting or raising. Sometimes players call in order to allow their opponents to keep on betting and this applies more in heads up situations. However as a rule then you need to maximise the pots that you win because there are only four betting rounds in no limit Texas hold’em poker.

Betting for value deals when you have the best hand or you think that you do. However bluffing and semi-bluffing deal with when you know or you suspect that you do not have the best hand. The key to be able to bluff and semi-bluff successfully is in how often you get away with it. Any fool can bluff and get away with it but your long term profitability at this part of the game stems from your bluffing and semi-bluffing success strike rate in online poker.

Bluffing and semi-bluffing form a very important part of any online poker players poker strategy and if you bluff and semi-bluff very well then you will add to your bottom line. Bluffs tend to be done with very little equity or no equity if called whereas semi-bluffs are done with hands that although are currently not the best hand can actually make the best hand.


You will see that the first category involves when you know or strongly suspect that you have the best hand and the second category involves when you know that you categorically don’t have the best hand or you strongly suspect it. However what if you think that you may be ahead but are not sure? For example you call a button raise from the big blind with 6c-6d and the flop comes 10d-8h-4s and here you think that there is a fair chance that you have the best hand.


If you check and call then your opponent may see that as weakness and fire another barrel on the turn. This forces you into playing guessing games if you want to continue on in this poker hand.

However making a probe bet allows you to see how serious your opponent is about their hand. If you bet say one third of the pot to one half of the pot then many opponents will fold a large portion of their range if they have nothing. If they raise the flop then they really have a hand or they are serious about playing this situation and so either scenario isn’t too great for a pair of sixes. You paid for information and you got it and now it is time to fold your weak holding.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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