In this article, we’ll break down how you can grow your profits by sizing up your bets against the worst players at your table.

Bigger Bet Sizing Makes Your Snowball Roll Faster

Bet smarter, win bigger. That’s the general rule in poker. Weaker players have immovable ranges and when you step outside them, they will often feel uncomfortable. If their range is as rigid as a poker chip, then you can work yourself into an advantage. At this point, you’ll want to adapt from your own pre-flop range strategy to a more value-influenced strategy.

Playing low-limit cash, let’s say you raise it up to 3x the big blind with pocket queens and are called by a weak player in the big blind with jack-ten. On a board of J-8-4-4-7 there are a number of ways the action could play out, so let’s take a look at an example from each path that could often be taken from the pre-flop point:

Situation #1  

As the weak player called and there are 7 big blinds in the middle of the table, at this point, we’ll bet 33% of the pot on the flop, check the turn and bet a chunky 66% on the river. We’d expect our weak player to call the flop and check back the turn, as well as calling the river.

They’ve hit top pair, no flush has come in and they’ve not put you on ten-nine for a miracle straight. They’re paying you off. But have you charged enough?

Total winnings: 26 big blinds

Situation #2

In the second scenario, we’ll bet the same on the flop (33%), but this time we’ll pump 66% on the turn and repeat the size of that bet on the river. Your weak player is a calling station and with top player and a card higher than any of the other cards on the three streets that fall, they pay you off a lot bigger.

Total winnings: 63 big blinds

Situation #3

This time, we’ll not only bet a lot bigger on the flop, popping it to half the pot, but we’ll continue with a bet of 66% of the pot on both turn and river. Weak players who call flops when they’ve hit top pair will often remain committed to the hand, reasoning that since they called on the flop and believed them to be ahead, that they’re still ahead on turn and river if cards lower than theirs arrive.

Total winnings: 84 big blinds

Situation #4

Finally, let’s go much bigger on the flop. Assuming that our weak player is happy to call 80% of the pot on the flop, we can safely repeat that bet sizing on turn and river. With a call on each street from the weak player, the profit margin on your pocket queens is now huge.

Total winnings: 125 big blinds

Comparing Situations

As we look back at the first situation, we only made 26 big blinds from a big overpair against a weak player. Situation #4 yielded over four times the profit, proving that if you increase bet sizing against players who cannot resist going large on top pairs from the flop to the river, you’ll make big profits.

If you miss a street of value, then you can cost yourself around half of the chips you could win if you commit to betting on all three streets. A bigger size bet on the flop (Situation #4) prompts the ability to back this up with the same percentage-size bets on turn and river.

Betting bigger on the flop could scare off some players but if you have identified your weak player with good information, then oversizing your post-flop bet increases your end-of-board winnings by around 35%.

In Conclusion

Maybe your weaker opponent won’t always have a hand you can gain such large returns from betting against. But when they do, if you press this edge, then you’ll often reap much bigger rewards. This gain in win-rate is well worth making more aggressive moves. If you continue to apply smarter betting sizes that lean on the big side, you can see a big return on bets from post-flop to the river.

Winning bigger – even at smaller stakes – can increase your win-rate exponentially, snowballing your winnings against these types of players. A good player can call smaller bets, and fold more often to bigger bets. Weaker players don’t differentiate between sizes so well, frequently calling bigger bets as often as they do small ones. Ramp up your value bets in your range against weaker players and you’ll fly up the limits.

You can bet on it.

Did this article deal you a winning hand?

Jackpot! You’ve flopped a winning hand! This article has surely added some extra chips to your stack. Tune in for more valuable insights and pro-level strategies!

Looks like you’ve been dealt a bad beat. We’ll shuffle the deck and try again.

Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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