There is a curious corollary to the principle of trying to win the big pots right away. Obviously you want to bet or raise to drive out as many players as possible when you have the best hand. But if the pot is very large, it is frequently desirable to do the same even when you suspect you have the second-best hand, especially when you believe you’re not that far behind.


If there are a few raises on third street, creating a good-sized pot, it is important that you raise the 6,4 when he comes out betting, even though his hand is probably better than yours and he will probably rearise. Why should you be willing to add two bets to the pot when you suspect you don’t have the best hand? The answer is that you want to force out the other two hands.


With a large pot they might call a single bet, but in the face of a bet, a raise, (and a probable rearise), they should now fold. You have succeeded in reducing the opposition to one, and you now have about a 45 percent chance of winning the pot. Your underdog status is more than compensated by all that extra dead money in there. On the other hand, with the other players involved, you would have only about a 30 percent chance of winning the pot.

Name That Blue

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