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How to Snowball Your Winnings vs Bad Poker Players

When you’re up against bad poker players, you have the opportunity to beat them for a large number of chips.

And with the right strategy, that number (and your chip stack) will continue growing like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill.

In this short article, I am going to show you how to extract a ton more chips from these players by utilizing smarter bet sizes.

These players make much larger mistakes than regulars, and taking maximum advantage of those mistakes allows you to achieve a higher win-rate with less variance in your results.

Let’s begin!

Key Terms

To make sure we’re on the same page, the expandable sections below define a few pieces of jargon in this article.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of these terms, expand that section and then move on when you’re ready.

Bigger Bet Sizes Make Your Snowball Bigger

Many weak players have fairly inelastic ranges versus various bet sizes, at least compared to regular players.

In other words, while a good player will call a small bet more often than they will call a big bet (as they should), some weak players will call a big bet just as often as they call a small bet.

Whenever you’re up against a player with an inelastic calling range, there’s a simple adjustment you can make to boost your profit considerably: use bigger bet sizes and play a value-heavy strategy.

Consider this example hand:

(Note: This specific example is a cash game hand, but the concepts apply directly to tournaments as well.)

Playing $0.50/$1, Hero raises to $3 on the button with and a weak player in the big blind calls with .

The pot on the flop is $6.50 — let’s round up to $7 to make the math cleaner.

The board runs out .

Now, let’s compare four different ways this hand could play out (with differing bet sizes) to see which one nets Hero the most profit:

Scenario #1: Bet 33% Pot on Flop, Check on Turn, Bet 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 33% of the pot ($2.30) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $11.60. Hero checks back.

On the river the pot is $11.60. Hero bets 66% ($7.60) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $26.90

Scenario #2: Bet 33% Pot on Flop, 66% Pot on Turn, 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 33% pot ($2.30) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $11.60. Hero bets 66% ($7.60) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $27. Hero bets 66% ($17.80) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $62.60

Scenario #3: Bet 50% on Flop, 66% Pot on Turn, 66% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 50% of the pot ($3.50) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $14. Hero bets 66% ($11.20) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $36.40. Hero bets 66% ($24) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $84.50

Scenario #4: Bet 80% Pot on Flop, 80% Pot on Turn, 80% Pot on River

With $7 in the middle on the flop, Hero c-bets 80% of the pot ($5.60) and the weak player calls.

On the turn, the pot is $18.20. Hero bets 80% ($14.50) of the pot and the weak player calls.

On the river the pot is $47.30. Hero bets 80% ($37.85) of the pot and the weak player calls.

Final pot size: $123

Scenario Comparison

The differences between the possible outcomes of this hand are staggering:

  • Scenario #1: +$13.70
  • Scenario #2: +$31.45
  • Scenario #3: +$42.45
  • Scenario #4: +$61.70

Note: If the opponent’s calling range is truly inelastic (or close to it), the probability of each of these scenarios is equal (or close to equal).

Some key observations…

A missed street of value resulted in less than half the winnings of a continuous betting line (Scenario #1 vs Scenario #2).

Furthermore, a slightly bigger bet size on the flop led to a pot that was 35% bigger by the end of the hand (Scenario #2 vs Scenario #3).

And you can see (in Scenario #4), a savvy player is able to increase winnings even further (another 45%) by utilizing a larger bet size on all three streets.

Wrapping Up

Your opponent will not always have a hand that you beat or a hand that will call all three streets, but if you continuously apply smarter bet sizes, you will see very large win-rate gain in the long-run.

Winning just a few dollars more, on average, in every spot like this really adds up!

That’s all for today! I hope you will start snowballing your winnings against these players.

Have you ever been up against an opponent who seemed to have an inelastic calling range?

If so, what sorts of wacky hands did you see them call with?

Let me know in the comments below.

If you want to learn more strategies that work well vs weak players, read How to Adjust Your Strategy in Splashy Live Games.

Til’ next time, good luck, grinders!

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