A serious poker player looking to make good money on his games will have to incorporate value betting into his strategy thinking. Value betting includes knowing how to read your opponents and showing them a face that will lead them to the assumptions you want them to make. Great strategy for value betting is often not to reveal that you are in fact “value betting” and this type of game play comes with many games and experience.
Knowing your Opponent
Good strategy for all poker is observation. This is especially true when you play a lot in one poker room where you will meet the same players over and over. By learning the reactions and play of your opponents you will be able to put your opponent on a hand and yours will be better. The only way of making a qualified guess of what your opponent is holding is to become a good observer. Use the tools available to you. Take notes and go over your game history after the game. This will help you recognize how different players act according to what they have on hand.
What is Known of You
Don’t forget that just as you are observing the other players they are watching you. Value betting occurs at a level where most players are skilled enough to read your moves and make important decisions based on this. You should learn to observe yourself through the eyes of others. If you master this skill you can greatly improve your value betting.
How Much to Bet on the River
Deciding how much to bet can be a delicate matter. On the one hand you don’t want to come across as too weak and have your opponent call you with a loser hand but if you bet too much your opponent player might muck. Some good advice is to stick to betting about half of the pot. This will be recognized by most as a good value bet but do keep in mind it could also come across as bluffing. Betting on the river usually means that the player has a great hand or a bluff. With this in mind you’ll be better able to make the decision to call or fold at this point.
Play Many Games
There are really no magic formulas when it comes to learning how to make good value bets. You will have to play many games in order to get the experience needed to read other players and know when it is time to bet more aggressively. Even if you won’t always meet the same players you will start to see patterns to the actual games and this will help you in making the right choices for your betting. A good sign that you are understanding value betting correctly is when you will be able to determine the amounts to bet naturally without thinking it over for too long.