Beware Your Default Poker Plays

Here’s the thing you need to get a handle on first and foremost. A habit can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the context. Recall that a habit can be loosely defined as a routine or a behavior that is repeated enough times that eventually it becomes automatic or unconscious. But you want to make sure your poker habits are working in your favor and not steering you the wrong way.

One such poker habit you want to take the time to examine in depth is the idea of bet sizing. Specifically the seemingly widespread habit of bet sizing in no limit poker. You may or may not be aware that about a decade ago the betting strategies in no limit poker morphed into a common pattern. A pattern in which a poker game with the name no limit suddenly had bet sizings that were kept in the 60 to 80% of the actual pot range. In other words over the last few years, even the professional poker players were only ever betting in the 60% to 80% of the pot range. What is this all about?

Are the professionals merely following along with what everyone else is doing or is there something else at play here? If you look back at the definition of habit above you may find the answer to the question. At this point it may not even matter how this practice first became the accepted norm. The point is that even now, it seems to be ingrained into poker players of all levels.

Yet if you are willing to take a careful look at this practice you can readily understand the inherent problems. First of all, consider that there is no logical reason for this restriction. We are talking about no limit poker after all. If there is in fact no logical or justifiable reason for this restriction on bet sizing you have to ask yourself why you are doing it in the first place.

Chances are actually pretty high that you may in fact be following this very same restriction. After all, most poker players look to the professorial players to learn best practices. Start by paying attention to how your next round of no limit poker unfolds. When faced with a bet sizing choice, do you have a strategy or do you have a restriction.

Bottom line: make sure you understand why you are betting the way you do.

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