How to Snowball Your Winnings vs Bad Poker Players

How to Snowball Your Winnings vs Bad Poker Players

When you’re up against bad poker players, you have the opportunity to beat them for a large number of chips.

And with the right strategy, that number (and your chip stack) will continue growing like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill.

In this short article, I am going to show you how to extract a ton more chips from these players by utilizing smarter bet sizes.

These players make much larger mistakes than regulars, and taking maximum advantage of those mistakes allows you to achieve a higher win-rate with less variance in your results.

Let’s begin!

Key Terms

To make sure we’re on the same page, the expandable sections below define a few pieces of jargon in this article.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of these terms, expand that section and then move on when you’re ready.

Term #1: Exponential Growth

Exponential growth is a type of growth whose rate becomes ever more rapid in proportion to the growing total number or size. In other words, it’s when something grows in relation to its current value.

Example: Suppose you have 100 rabbits in January and their population doubles every month. You’d be up to 200 rabbits in February, 400 rabbits in March, 800 rabbits after April, and so on.

After thirteen months, you’d be up to 409,600 rabbits. The graph of this exponential growth is pictured below:

How_to_Snowball_Your_Winnings_vs_Bad_Poker_Players

For the poker examples that follow, it will be the size of the pot that grows exponentially as the hand progresses. In other words, the y-axis (rabbits) will be the size of the pot and the x-axis (months) will be the progressing streets (flop/turn/river).

Term #2: Elastic Calling Range

A calling range is elastic when an increase in the bet size elicits at least a small reduction in the calling range. In other words, the calling range is sensitive to the bet size.

For example, if you would call a $20 bet with a tighter range than you would call a $10 bet, your calling range is elastic.

Here is a visual representation of how this looks (notice how the calling frequency decreases as the bet size increases):

How_to_Snowball_Your_Winnings_vs_Bad_Poker_Players

Just in case it's not clear: your calling range should be elastic in just about every situation.

Term #3: Inelastic Calling Range

A calling range is inelastic when a change in the bet size elicits very little or no change in the calling range. In other words, the calling range is not particularly sensitive to bet size.

For example, if your calling range against a $20 bet is the exact same as it would be against a $10 bet, your calling range is inelastic.

Here is a visual representation of how this looks (notice how the calling frequency remains the same as the bet size increases):

How_to_Snowball_Your_Winnings_vs_Bad_Poker_Players

Players with inelastic calling ranges are usually inexperienced or splashy, as even a relatively savvy beginner will realize that the hands with which you call should be sensitive to the bet size you are up against.

Bigger Bet Sizes Make Your Snowball Bigger

Many weak players have fairly inelastic ranges versus various bet sizes, at least compared to regular players.

In other words, while a good player will call a small bet more often than they will call a big bet (as they should), some weak players will call a big bet just as often as they call a small bet.

Whenever you’re up against a player with an inelastic calling range, there’s a simple adjustment you can make to boost your profit considerably: use bigger bet sizes and play a value-heavy strategy.

Consider this example hand:

(Note: This specific example is a cash game hand, but the concepts apply directly to tournaments as well.)

Playing $0.50/$1, Hero raises to $3 on the button with and a weak player in the big blind calls with .

The pot on the flop is $6.50 — let’s round up to $7 to make the math cleaner.

The board runs out .

Now, let’s compare four different ways this hand could play out (with differing bet sizes) to see which one nets Hero the most profit:

Scenario #1: Bet 33% Pot on Flop, Check on Turn, Bet 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 33% of the pot ($2.30) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $11.60. Hero checks back.

On the river the pot is $11.60. Hero bets 66% ($7.60) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $26.90

Scenario #2: Bet 33% Pot on Flop, 66% Pot on Turn, 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 33% pot ($2.30) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $11.60. Hero bets 66% ($7.60) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $27. Hero bets 66% ($17.80) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $62.60

Scenario #3: Bet 50% on Flop, 66% Pot on Turn, 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 50% of the pot ($3.50) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $14. Hero bets 66% ($11.20) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $36.40. Hero bets 66% ($24) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $84.50

Scenario #4: Bet 80% Pot on Flop, 80% Pot on Turn, 80% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 80% of the pot ($5.60) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $18.20. Hero bets 80% ($14.50) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $47.30. Hero bets 80% ($37.85) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $123

Scenario Comparison

The differences between the possible outcomes of this hand are staggering:

  • Scenario #1: +$13.70
  • Scenario #2: +$31.45
  • Scenario #3: +$42.45
  • Scenario #4: +$61.70

Note: If the opponent’s calling range is truly inelastic (or close to it), the probability of each of these scenarios is equal (or close to equal).

Some key observations…

A missed street of value resulted in less than half the winnings of a continuous betting line (Scenario #1 vs Scenario #2).

Furthermore, a slightly bigger bet size on the flop led to a pot that was 35% bigger by the end of the hand (Scenario #2 vs Scenario #3).

And you can see (in Scenario #4), a savvy player is able to increase winnings even further (another 45%) by utilizing a larger bet size on all three streets.

Wrapping Up

Your opponent will not always have a hand that you beat or a hand that will call all three streets, but if you continuously apply smarter bet sizes, you will see very large win-rate gain in the long-run.

Winning just a few dollars more, on average, in every spot like this really adds up!

That’s all for today! I hope you will start snowballing your winnings against these players.

source: upswingpoker

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How many decks are used in poker?

In most popular poker variants, such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha, a standard deck of 52 playing cards is used. Each deck contains four suits (hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades) and consists of 13 ranks (Ace, 2 through 10, and the face cards: Jack, Queen, and King).

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