Before acting on your hand there is a list of questions you should ask yourself. But there is no one right way to play a given hand.
- The size of your stack is one of the most important issues to consider. Its size (relative to the blinds) determine the options you have.
With a very small stack your options are limited to folding and all-in.
A bigger stack (at least 30-times the big blind) gives you the posibility to raise and re-raise before the flop.
- The second issue to consider before you bet is your position on the table. There are some blogposts about that.
- The third item to consider is the size of the blinds and the amount of money in the pot. Remember: when you bet you tell a story. If that story does not make sense no one will follow it.
For pre-flop bets a good rule of thumb is a raise about 3 to 4 times the big blind.
- The action that happend in front of you. By paying attention to it you can determine the strength of your opponents hands. It helps to decide what type of players your opponents are. Are they loose, tight, aggressive or passive?
This is the checklist which you should go through with every bet. And finally: your bet has to serve a purpose. Do you want your opponents to fold or do you want them to put as much money in the pot as possible?