Understanding & Utilizing Geometric Bet Sizing in Poker – Top Tips by Upswing Poker
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There are so many poker terms that sound complicated and hard to understand when you hear them first. Geometric bet sizing might belong to that category but it’s actually a fairly simple, yet very important concept.
The fact of the matter is, you probably use geometric sizing quite a bit without even thinking about it.
When used correctly, this concept can help you win your opponent’s stack more often when holding a strong poker hand as it makes it easier to get as many chips in the pot as possible.
Pot Geometry Basics
In the simplest of terms, geometric bet sizing represents the correlation between the bets made on each street and the final size of the pot.
The bigger the each individual bet, the bigger the final pot will be – that’s pretty self-explanatory.
But what does geometry have to do with it? Let’s look at an example to make it clear what we’re talking about.
For example, you raise from the button from J♥10♥, making it 2.5 big blinds and the big blind defends. The flop comes 9♥8♣7♦, giving you the nuts.
The big blind checks to you and you c-bet for just 2 big blinds. They call and you proceed to the turn of 2♠ with 10 big blinds in the pot.
They check again and you bet bigger this time around, making it 7.5 big blinds (75%) of the pot. The opponent calls and the pot is now 25 big blinds.
The river bricks out as it comes 3♥. You bet for 75% of the pot again and they call. The final tally is that you win the pot of 62.5 big blinds.
But what happens if you start off by betting bigger on the flop? If you made it 75% of the pot on the flop and then kept your turn and river bets 75% of the pot as well, you would end up winning a significantly larger pot of 90 big blinds.
You can see how geometric progression here can be used to help you win bigger pots when you have a big hand and why this is an important concept to consider when thinking about extracting value.
Understanding the Idea of Geometric Bet Sizing
When you have a big hand, you ideally want to get all of your opponent’s chips in the middle. The concept of geometric bet sizing, often used by solvers, is used to facilitate this.
In the simplest of terms, it tells you what (same) percentage of the pot you should bet on each street to get the stacks in the middle by the river.
For example, you find yourself in a 3-bet pot holding pocket aces with 31 big blinds in the middle and 85 big blinds behind.
Geometric bet sizing tells us that you should bet 76% of the pot on the turn to set up the 76% pot shove on the river (23.5 big blinds followed by 61.5 big blinds).
This is a very useful concept, but the one that you should only use in certain spots. If geometric bet sizing requires you to overbet the pot but you’re not the one with the nut advantage, you should stick to a more traditional sizing plan.
If you’d like to learn more about geometric bet sizing and how you can utilize this concept to maximize your profit with big hands, check out the full Upswing article.