I am just wondering--would it be advantageous in a live tournament to alternate bet sizing in correlation with position if first to enter pot?

For example:
raise 4x BB in early position;
raise 3x BB in middle position;
raise 2.5 or min-raise in late position?

Thank you for your responses.

  • 1
    Easy on the caps on bold
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 8:17

3 Answers 3


That's usually a strategy used with the argument that "You want to encourage people to call when you have the position, so you bet small, giving them the odds and you do the exact opposite when you are out of position". That way you increase the amount of pots you are involved when you are in command. It can be a very efficient strategy, especially in live tours with less experienced players, given that you play a fairly tight-aggressive style. It is also quite often seen in online cash games, usually in lower stakes.

However, bear in mind, that as blinds get higher and higher in a tournament you cannot afford to keep doing that. For example, in a late stage when the average stack is close to 20-25 big blinds, if you open 4BBs from UTG, you are more or less committed in case another player shoves, and you keep bumping into tough spots.

Also, you need to take into account how your opponents play. If they have a tendency to call very often, it makes sense to open big with your good hands, even from late position. If on the other side, they are very aggressive, re-raising a lot, it makes sense to open small.

As the game develops, you need to experiment on different styles, sometimes even mix-up your game, in order to confuse your opponents.


Not saying I agree 100% but this is from Phil Gordon's Little Green Book
This is only for first to act

2.5bb - 3.0bb

3.0bb - 3.5bb

3.5bb - 4.0bb

small blind

His argument is commit fewer chips out of position
But he also says to only play premium hands out of position
You are not trying to steal blinds in early position

His argument is you need to bet more from late to get blinds to fold as they are getting better pot odds as they already have the bet partially covered. From the button a 2.5 open gives the bb 2.67 : 1 pot odd so they are priced in to call unless they put you on an over pair to their hand. 67 should call AK if getting 2.67 : 1.

Starting Hand Odds


No, pick a standard raising size that works for the table you're at and stick to it. It makes you, in theory, harder to read.

Let's say you are raising to 5bb on the BB and the dealer button is a clever thinking player. How long do you think it'll take him/her to realize you're raising like this always in the BB regardless of hand strength? This player will then be able to tailor a strategy to abuse this. You're establishing a pattern and giving information away.

What I would suggest is don't go into any game with the prescribed notion of I must always raise a standard 3bb, etc. Every game is different and you need to alter your game to match the table. Rather ask yourself before any raise, what do you want to achieve by betting, and what is the correct amount to achieve that? Some tables the raise might be 5,6 or even 7 bbs, other tables it might be a 2.5bb raise.

Now there is another factor to consider, and it relates directly to what I said initially, it needs to work for the table. Your table will likely never be a table of people who all play the same. So if you have a strong hand and a player who always calls on the BB or something like that, then by all means increase your size. So say 3bb makes everyone else fold but not this guy, in this case and you know you'll get a call why not increase the raise and build a bigger pot!


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