Sizing Bets on the Flop and Turn to Set Up a River All-In


  • Hand analysis: A lesson in sizing postflop bets for maximum value from @JonathanLittle.

  • After @JonathanLittle flops it all in this $5K WSOP event, he must size his bets for maximum value.

Here’s a fun hand from a $5,000 no-limit hold’em event from last summer’s World Series of Poker, one that illustrates the importance of proper bet sizing when betting for value.

The blinds were 200/400 with a 50 ante, and began with a loose-aggressive player on my right raising to 800 from the hijack seat. The raiser had about 15,000 to start the hand and I had around 50,000 when I three-bet to 1,900 from the cutoff with {A-Clubs}{6-Clubs}.

I discuss below how in lower-stakes events with more passive players I might consider just calling in this spot with this hand, but in this $5K event with mostly strong players I’m either folding or raising.

It folded back around to the hijack who called, and the flop was great for me, coming {J-Clubs}{6-Spades}{4-Clubs} to give me middle pair and the nut-flush draw. My opponent checked, I bet 2,000, and my opponent called.

The turn then brought the {6-Diamonds} to give me trips, and the hijack checked once more. There was 8,850 in the middle and my opponent had about 11,000 behind.

I’m definitely betting, but when making this bet I want to be sure to size it correctly — not too big (and cause him to fold here on the turn) and not too small, either (and enable him to get away from an all-in on the river).

Take a look at what I did and how the hand played out:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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