Some More Essential Holdem: Buying the Pot

This article was posted on January 15, 2014

Mastering a handful of essential Texas Holdem moves might not make you a profitable player in the long run. If you intend to accomplish that, you should know that there is a lot more to it than being able to properly apply a few simple yet essential strategy-maneuvers. What it can accomplish however, is that it will improve your overall play, making you not only more profitable, but much more likely to enjoy the action, and therefore much more willing to take that extra step to improve even further.

The buying of the pot - as over-betting is widely known in poker circles - is one such essential Holdem maneuver. Mastering this move will add another weapon to your arsenal, thus making you an overall more versatile player.

What exactly is an over-bet though? By definition, an over bet is any bet larger than the size of the pot. If you're an online poker beginner, you’re quite possibly already extremely familiar with over-betting. It is also pretty much a given that the way you use the power of the over bet is not the correct one.

What exactly is the over-bet meant to achieve? To make a long story short: the over-bet's mission is to help you take down more pots, sometimes even when you do not have a hand. The over-bet is also supposed to provide you a way to get more money into pots you know you will win.

In order to be able to properly use any poker strategy piece, you need to know exactly what you are trying to accomplish through it in any given situation. The over bet is used for the accomplishment of two basic goals: it can be used as a bluff, showing strength and putting an opponent into a difficult decision spot, thus forcing the fold. Over-betting can also be used to bet for value.


The strategy only lends itself to deep-stacked situations, which essentially allow the player to place massive bets, absorbing their loss if required.

When exactly in a hand is it best to put the power of the over bet to use? The river is usually the spot where the over-bet can do the most damage to your opponent's stack.


Using the over-bet for bluffing is quite a delicate issue and here's why: one will only be able to effectively put the over-bet to use as a tool of intimidation when one's opponent is sitting on a medium-strength made hand. That's pretty much the only situation in which the over-bet is useful for bluffing. If the opponent is sitting on a monster, there is no way he will fold to any sort of bet. In fact, he will welcome the extra chips in the pot. If he has nothing but rags, he can be forced to fold through a light bet, which is less risky and saves more money for the player in the long run. That makes it pretty clear that in order to be able to use the over-bet for bluffing, one needs to have a thorough read on his or her opponent, and he needs to have put him on a more or less accurate range. This is something that usually exceeds the abilities of most rookies, therefore it is safe to say that beginners should NOT resort to using the over bet for bluffing.


What they can use it for however is to gain extra value. There are two basic ways to gain extra value through the over-bet: players can use it to represent weakness (which in certain spots is in fact surprisingly easy to pull off), or they can deploy it against weak players, simply betting big with a monster.

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