The usual advice given when you think you have the best hand, is to value bet both the turn and the river. The reasoning behind this is that you want your opponent to call.

Now, on a bluff, you probably want to bet more because you don't want to be called. Doesn't this telegraph your bluffs? For optimal play, shouldn't you be overbetting sometimes even when you have the best hand (on the turn, for a 3 barrel bluff, or post flop if you're firing your second bullet), to make your opponent fold so he doesn't know if he folded best or 2nd best?

  • I don't think it telegraphs anything, unless you have a big AF on the Turn and people peek you up overtime. Also overbetting a set on any board (wet or dry) is not a bluff, people may think you're strong either way. I mostly use my Villain's stats to find if it's profitable to overbet (eg. stations) or not.
    – user1165
    Mar 17, 2015 at 16:22

3 Answers 3


Absolutely. As you say, if you bet your bluffs big and your value bets small, you have exploitable bet sizing tells. You fix this by 'balancing your range' - essentially being capable of any one play with both a good hand and a bad hand.

This way none of your bets 'polarise' your range so good players find it more difficult to put you on a hand, allowing you to get value from more hands, as well as pass through more bluffs.

Of course, you can't just decide to bluff anywhere and value bet anywhere. You first need to put your opponent on a hand and decide if the play is likely to work. The opponent may be more likely to continue if you have been running him over with a lot of large bets, for example, and unlikely if you rarely bet big - unless he also has a big hand.

To fix your problem, you either want to be:

  1. Overbetting some of your large hands (especially when you think you're opponent is likely to have a big hand also) and continue to overbet bluffs.

  2. Make bluffs when you feel your opponent is particularly weak - with no draws and few cards in his range - and size them as you would a value bet.

Of course good players will have a number of plays up their sleeve to ultimately exploit the opponent into making poor calls or poor lay downs.


This is a dilemma. The thing is most players mix up their betting patterns. If your always betting particular hands one way, players pick up on this and react accordingly, usually having a negative effect on your bottom line.

There is a best way to play every hand, but it is not as simple of an equation as it seems. When you call, what you call with, when you raise, what you raise with etc. really cannot be boiled down to a formula dependent on the cards you play. Its really about the people you are playing, and all the variables of skill, moods and personalities interacting, that decides what you do at any particular point in the game with any particular hand or any particular play you may have in mind.

A simple answer to your question is well don't play that way. Mix up your play so that you are not so predictable as that and you will have better results. However to give you a good answer could involve a lot of broad examples. Your question just cannot be answered with any depth otherwise. Also your questioned is partially answered in a lot of posts throughout the site.

Dissecting some hands to see if your bluffs are good or bad would really help you with this particular question, and asking about hands you played makes for great questions and answers within the framework of what you are trying to learn.


I find the best way to bluff is to imagine what hands you could have.

For example: Let's say UTG opens for 3BB. Everyone folds, and you call on the button with T9s. Flop comes 2-4-7 rainbow. The opponent bets the flop for 2/3 pot size.

At this point I can fold, check or raise. If my opponent is tight and has mostly mid pocket pair type hands I'm just going to fold. If he is loose, I am going to call the flop. When I call the flop I hope to hit a pair or straight draw on the turn. But that's not my main goal.

My main goal is that I am in a perfect spot to represent a low set. I can bet turn and river if he checks and get him to fold higher cards as well as some medium pairs. If he bets turn I can raise turn and from his perspective it looks like I definitely have a monster hand.

This brings us to your bet sizing question. As soon as I make that flop call, I pretend I have a set. Now if he calls my turn raise, I am going to check fold because he now looks super strong. But when I make my bets or raises I am literally pretending I have a set and trying to get value from my set.

Good luck

  • 1
    This is not just irrelevant to the question, but poor advice. The probability of there being a set in any given hand is minuscule, so if you're representing a set too often, not only will you not get credit for it, but it's mathematically impossible to balance your bet with enough valuable hands. Then you get the exact problem the asker mentioned - people get sizing tells and can exploit them.
    – Yang
    May 26, 2015 at 11:50

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