the same time, it would be incorrect not to bet at
all with the best hand, even though you were 100 percent
certain your opponent would make the correct play
and call. By not betting, you are giving your opponent
a free chance to make the best hand. Put another way,
you are giving him infinite odds. Let's say the odds
are 5 to 1 against your opponent making a hand that
beats yours. By betting $20 into a $150pot, you are
offering that player 81/2-to-1 odds ($170-to-$20),
and so he is correct to call the $20. But betting
nothing, you are offering him infinite odds, in that
he has to call zero dollars for the chance to wind
$150. therefore, when the pot is large even though
you are offering your opponent favorable odds it is
always correct to bet with the best hand. The opponent’s
odds are not so favorable as they would be if you
didn’t bet at all. Furthermore, there is always
the outside chance he might give up and fold.
In no-limit and pot-limit games it is easier to win
the big pots right away because you have the luxury
of being able to bet almost any amount. So you can
choose what odds to give your opponent. For example,
with a $150 pot in a pot-limit games and your opponent
a 5-to-1 underdog, betting the maximum $150 allows
you to offer your opponent 2-to-1 odds ($300 to $150)
on a 5-to-1 shot. If your opponent calls, he is taking
the worst of it, and you are not unhappy with the
call. Whenever possible, then, with the best hand,
bet an amount large enough so that by calling, your
opponent is not making the correct play. Furthermore,
in no-limit and pot-limit games, you must be careful,
as we saw in page Seven, to bet a sufficiently large
amount so that your opponent is not getting sufficiently
good implied odds to make a call correct.
By definition, in limit games you are not free to
bet whatever you want, and when the pot gets large,
it's hard to make a player fold. However, unless you
have the pure nuts, you should give your opponent
every opportunity to fold and make it as expensive
as you can for him to call, even when by calling he
is still getting favorable odds.
pairs should usually be folded, but depending on position,
action, kickers, and live cards, they might be playable.
It's always important to have live cards in stud,
but its of critical importance when you have a mediocre
start such as a small or moderate-sized pair that
is very unlikely to win without improvement.
For example, let's say you're dealt (8? 8?) Q? . Normally,
this is a decent start. It's not a big pair, but it's
totally hidden and your kicker is somewhat large.
I was recently dealt this hand and the situation was
even better in that I had perfect position on third
street, the bring-in (a 3) was on my left, meaning
I was last to act on third street.
But one of the exposed cards was an 8, hurting my
drawing strength quite a bit. The 8 folded, but a
King and an Ace called the bring-in. It was a loose
game and two smaller cards also called. Then a Jack
raised. That raise pretty much cinched it. That pair
of 8s wasn't worth playing.