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An overbet is typically defined as a bet bigger than the pot, and overbetting for value in the right circumstances can greatly improve your winrate at low stakes live cash games.  It’s not a topic that is commonly discussed since it requires some out of the box thinking, but it can be a very effective strategy.  Here’s three situations where you can get away with value betting much bigger than usual.

When your opponent tends to call way too much

While most players these days have some knowledge of basic poker strategy, every once in a while you’ll run into a complete drooler that sees nothing beyond his own two cards and has no idea of relative hand strength.  Against such players, you should be making massive value bets, since they’ll still call you with two pair even if the board has three to a flush and four to a straight.

When your opponent has shown strength throughout the hand

If your opponent has been betting and/or raising aggressively and consistently throughout the hand, it’s much more likely that he has a strong hand.  Thus, your bets and raises for value should be bigger, since you’re trying to get calls from a fairly strong range.

When your line makes no sense from your opponent’s perspective

This is probably the best spot to overbet for value.  Imagine calling down with a straight draw on a fairly dry board and backdooring a flush.  If your opponent has shown strength, this is the perfect spot to overbet the river, especially if there was a flopped flush draw that missed.  Your hand looks a lot like a missed draw that was turned into a bluff, and if the board’s not too scary, more often than not you’ll get paid off even if your raise was twice the size of the pot.


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ALL IN Magazine Contributor Zhijian Xing