I'm new to NLHE and trying to figure out opening bet sizes.

In a $1/$2 game (assume no ante), an unopened pot has $3 worth of blinds in it. "Raising to 3BB" (i.e., the default at Pokerstars) in this case would be a raise to $6, effectively giving a caller 1.5:1 pot odds (risk $6 for a chance to win $9).

Similarly, raising by the pot would make a $3 pot into a $6 call. Again, 1.5:1 pot odds.

Why is the common parlance to approach the bet as a bet sized by the BB rather than by the pot?

I find it especially confusing, since Raising to 3BB in a pot that has limpers call the blinds make for a very silly bet size (in terms of odds, a raise to 3BB after a limber called the blinds makes a caller pay $6 for a chance to win $11, or ~2:1 rather than 1.5:1). However, raising by the pot size keeps the odds similar to an unopened 3BB raise.

Can somebody unconfuse me please?

  • 1
    A pot sized raise would be $7. See my answer to a similar question. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 6:28

1 Answer 1


If you think of everything in terms of big blinds, then the strategy works no matter what the actual size of the blinds are.

  • Why think in terms of blinds rather in terms of the pot size? After all, pot odds are calculated based on the pot size. Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 10:36
  • Post flop you should be looking at pot size for your bets/calls so you can do calculations (like pot odds). Pre-flop you should be looking at it in terms of big blinds. For instance: If a guy only has 10BB left in his stack, he's far more likely to shove with a much wider range pre-flop than if he had, say, 50BB. The shorter the stack, the more aggressive they will be. Pre-flop charts and ranges are based on how many big blinds a person has in their stack for this reason.
    – Kris Mason
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 13:18

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