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Raising to Drive Out Opponents

When you raise to get people out, what you are really doing is raising to cut down their odds. In fact, you may sometimes cut their odds so severely that you hope they will call rather than fold after you raise.

By cutting down a person's odds, we mean reducing the amount of money he may win per dollar invested. For example, if there is a $100 pot, someone bets $10, and you call the $10, the player behind you gets 12-to-1 odds on a call. That is, that player hopes to win $120 from his $10 call, or $12 per $1 invested. But suppose you raise the initial bettor, making it $20 for the player behind you to call. Now there's $130 in the pot instead of $120, but the player behind you must invest twice as much - $20 - for a chance to win it. You have thus cut his odds almost in half - from $120-to-$10 to $130-to-$20, or from 12-to-1 to 6 1/2-to-1. In so doing, you have created a situation where the player may make a mistake, according to the Fundamental Theorem of Online Poker Games, by either calling or folding. Even when he folds correctly after you raise because he is getting insufficient pot odds to call a double bet, you certainly prefer that to his calling an unraised bet correctly and proceeding to outdraw you and win the pot.

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