Overbets in Poker

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An overbet is any bet that is larger than the size of the pot.  Knowing when and how to utilise an overbet is just as important as knowing how and when to check-raise, float, or bluff.  However, many players seldom if ever make overbets.

In a recent installment of the Poker Bites series at PokerSchoolOnline, PokerStars Team Pros Randy Lew, Isaac Haxton, Marc-Andre ‘FrenchDawg’ Ladouceur, Alex Millar and Mickey Petersen discussed overbets.

The pros all agreed that the overbet is an underused tactic and followed up with some advice on when to make an overbet.

  • Big Hands are for big bets – When you have the nuts or a very strong hand, your goal is to get as much in the middle as possible. An overbet can be more effective than a check raise. To most players a bet of 120% of the pot is not significantly different than a bet of 80%.
  • To protect you hand – If you have a strong but vulnerable hand an overbet will help protect it. You are giving your opponents the incorrect odds to try to draw out against you.
  • As a semi-bluff – When you have a strong draw an overbet will give you the chance to win the pot right there, plus build a bigger pot for when you do hit.
  • Against players with very defined hands – Some opponents play fairly transparently. When you a good read on the range of hands you opponent holds, an overbet looks like either a bluff or a very strong hand.

How you react to an overbet is a combination of your table image and the style and image of your opponent. Obviously an overbet from the table maniac is treated differently to one from a solid player.

You won’t learn everything there is to know about overbets in just a five minute video like the one we mentioned. However the advice from pros with very impressive resumes is a great place to start learning how to incorporate overbets into your game.

Watch the video.