Let's say we went to the flop. Damn, no hit. I'm first to act.

I decided to 'steal' the pot, by raising high enough that people fold but not too high so I don't lose too much if somebody got a monster and called.

What is the correct bet?

Usually I bet 3 times the pot, because it lowers the pot odds like a maniac.

Here's example.

Pot: $80

Me : Bet $240

Opponents needs to call $240 to win $320. Pot odds is 1.3:1

The reason I did this is because only straight flush draw has hand equity less than 1.3 :1.

Is this the correct play, in general?

Edit: I was playing SNG one table. So hopefully it can be suited for SNG.

  • 1
    What makes you think this pot is for sale? BTW a big bet like that smells like a bluff.
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 10:58
  • The flop was rainbow and evenly spaced. A direct flush or straight draw was somewhat impossible. Backdoor, well possibly, but that's why I want to just take the pot. Suddenly some random guy hit the nuts in the river.
    – Realdeo
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 11:17
  • just curios, did you win this hand?
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 12:02
  • Mostly don't. So that's why I turned here.
    – Realdeo
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 12:58
  • I think you answered your own question, and my answer with Jim Beams answer indicate its a bad play.
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 21:04

3 Answers 3


I know this is coming a bit late but I did not see anyone comment on the specific size. Stealing the pot can be profitable so depending on the board you might be right on target with the steal attempt. 3x however will not be the right size in any situation. If you are aiming to make your opponents fold draws (again depending on board) 4/5 bet will most likely not give them pot odds to call (so you might be able to achieve the same result risking only 60$!) Sometimes you will want to look scarrier so you can bet more than the pot size but this "intimidation factor" has a cap and in almost no cases will a 3x bet look stronger than a 1.5x.

Finally I want to point out that doing all these things you have to take into consideration how many hands do you expect your oponnent to fold for that specific situation. If you cannot make any estimate you will probably be better off to check and wait for a better spot(a hand, postion or more info)


A lot of this answer is going to depend on the other players and their skill level and how they see your bet. For example, I play a lot of live games in Las Vegas. I would never do this move because most tourists cannot fold top pair. They would always call something like this. Why? Because tourists don't fly in from around the world to not gamble with their poker hands :) So a lot of this will depend on:

  1. Skill level of players
  2. How many players see the flop
  3. The texture of the flop (straights, flushes, high cards, etc)
  4. The pre-flop betting action

Bluffing out of position is a craps shoot at best. You can pretty much bet much less then you are thinking. Straight and flush draws become unfavorable at something less then a pot size bet head up, and I would think that the only place you might want to attempt this play is head up, unless you are picking up a bunch of weakness tells. The higher your frequency with this play, the higher your failure rate is going to be.

Other things that need to be considered are did you raise pre-flop, did you limp. I assume that since the pot has eighty in it there was some kind of action before the flop, indicating some people are committed to the pot, they will stay without monsters, pocket pairs, back door draws with over cards, because they just are not going to believe you when you bet three times the pot.

There is no finesse to this play. Your throwing money into the pot on a bluff out of position when the range of hands you can place a player on is not very accurate. It might work once a twice, but you will get taken off.

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