Curt D Peterson
posted on October 17, 2014 18:48
Small-Ball Poker type involves deliberate play in such a way as to keep the pot small, minimizing the risk of losing your entire stack in one hand. This approach will decrease your option and increase the skill's role in the game - chances to lose your stack because of a miracle lower river. A small ball play requires developed reading skills for player’s hands to make speculative bets.
The first thing to consider when playing small ball is to bet less before the flop, find more now. This keeps the pot small enough in the next round of betting - because betting after the flop is usually directly proportional to it. A raise of 2½ xBB has a good chance to have the same effect on the opponent’s actions as well as raised to 3½ or 4 BB. However, if we look at the effect on post-flop betting, especially on the turn and river, we see that they are significantly lower.
Size of pot
Keeping the pot small in the first round of betting will allow you to slowly get a better understanding of the opponent's hand. This makes it more valuable position in poker small ball than when bets are higher - is simply more time for your proper position to help you when you bet on several streets. Combine this with the ability to obtain cheap information (because you kept the pot small at first) and you have chances of winning.
To control the size of the pot you should consider flop texture. For example, if there are lots of draw presents then betting too little would actually give your opponents correct chances - so will have to continue with their draws. If you have such a hand, then a small bet on the flop in position you can allow yourself to get a free hand from the position later.
Change the style
Adopting a strategy of small ball in online poker, you have to create a balance with occasional larger bets. This is because it can be difficult to build a big pot when you make a good hand and until then you have played only using small ball strategy. If you only bet preflop with aces and kings, for example, you give your online poker opponents too much valuable information to use against you.
To keep a pot size limit will often involve giving a check with a hand that is probably the best for now. While this has some risks that our opponent will make its hand, they can be easily offset by the benefits that the small ball brings. If your opponent has a pair smaller than your flop, then they have 23:1 chances against to make trips on turn. If you hold an ace then you have only 3 outs in the deck that will put you down.