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5 Ways Smart Poker Players Use Overbets to Win More Pots

25 May 2016, By: compncards
As you start playing more poker or in games against experienced players, you may start hearing the term overbet thrown around.

Some players consider an overbet a weak play, but as we will discuss today smart players can use an overbet to win more pots and get paid off huge in certain spots.

What is an Overbet?

Simply, an overbet is when you make a bet that is bigger than the size of the current pot. For example, a bet of $125 into a pot of $75 is an overbet.

Overbetting is often viewed as a mistake and some players that make them are viewed as inexperienced. You can use this to your advantage to manipulate pots.

1. Overbet to Build Pots Against Poor Players or Maniacs

When you pick up a big hand pre-flop against either a maniac or a complete fish, you can use the overbet as a way to build a pot.

First, you need to know whether your opponent is capable of calling an overbet. Your image will help determine this.

If you're playing very tight, you're not going to get much action. But if you have been pegged as a loose player, this could lead to you being paid off.

2. Overbet to Disguise Hand Strength

Sometimes you can use an overbet to disguise hand strength. Let's assume that you hit runner-runner flush on the river and you want to be paid off.

Chances are that your opponent isn't going to put you on a flush. If you overbet here to "represent" that you hit a flush, they may pay you off thinking you have top pair or are bluffing.

3. Overbet to Prevent Drawing

If the flop presents a potential straight or flush draw, this is a time where you can consider overbetting the pot to prevent your opponent from chasing.

This move works best when you know that your opponent doesn't chase without proper odds. When you're playing against a calling station, it's best to save your extra bets.

4. Overbet to Get Paid Off

One of the trickier overbetting plays is trying to be paid off after hitting a monster hand.

Whether this play works will depend on the circumstances of the hand and the caliber of player you're facing.

For example, you have a hand like Ah-9h and the flop comes Kh-Qh-6h. You flopped the nut flush and now have to decide how to play it.

By the turn it becomes evident that they have a hand like A-K or even K-Q and you want to extract maximum value. This is when you might consider overbetting a pot.

Weaker players will not quite know what's going on, think that you're betting crazy and decide to call with top pair or anything they believe they are ahead with. 

In this type of scenario, they may bet, you overbet the pot and then they shove hoping that they are ahead with top pair or even two pair.  

Keep in mind that this move will not work that well with smart players. They will figure out that either you have flopped that flush or have some other monsterish hand like a set and get out of the way.

5. Overbets from Experienced Players are Purposeful

Finally, realize that when an experienced player makes an overbet of the pot there is usually a purpose behind it. 

This is not a newbie that picked up top pair and got hyperactive. Their move is for a reason and you need to evaluate why they made this move.

In spots where it looks like they are "representing" a hand, assume they are overbetting for value.

When it appears they are trying to block a draw, they probably are and you need to calculate whether you have the implied odds to proceed in the hand.

Smart players know that an overbet is a sneaky little tool you can use to manipulate pots against weaker players.

Develop your own overbetting strategy in order to take advantage of weaker players and you will watch your hourly rate grow.

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