Controlling the pot is when you play passively on one or more streets with a good or marginal hand, to ensure that you can only lose a small amount of chips if you are behind. A common example would be holding something like A-4 on an A-8-Q flop. You bet flop and are called. You check behind on the turn for pot control. Then you bet the river and your opponent calls with Q-J. You checked the turn because the main hands that would pay you off in a big pot are ones that beat you, such as an Ace with a big kicker. But by pot controlling you can gain extra value and play it safe at the same time.
When should you pot control in poker?
When your poker hand can’t be called by much worse. Using same A-4 example, there are tons of worse hands that can call you on an A-8-Q i.e. Queens, Eights, gutshot straight draws, pocket pairs etc. But if you bet again on a blank turn suddenly you’re not likely to be called by anything but better hands. You must know main purposes of betting. Judi Bola Resmi site will offer the best control to the online bettors. The understanding of the betting purpose is essential to get more in the bank account. The use of the strong hands will provide the benefits to the online bettors.
You are playing a tricky opponent with a marginal hand. Nobody likes to be put into really difficult spots – if you always bet for value versus these guys though, sometimes you will be. It’s often best to avoid facing a tough decision, such as being check-raised on the turn, and make life easier for yourself.
The poker tournament dictates it’s the right play. You might be on the bubble, or up against the chip leader on the final table – there are tons of occasions in MTTs (multi-table tournaments) where it is a mistake to continually play for your entire stack.
If it’s the right way to get max value. Showing weakness on one street can often pay off on another. A player might bluff into you, or call you down lighter than they usually would. More information about reasons to bluff in poker.
When is pot controlling a mistake?
If you’re playing a weak player. Most poor players will call too much with poor hands, and make it very obvious when they have a monster. In this case, if you think you have the best hand just bet, bet, bet. You’re missing out on value if you try to control the pot.
When your hand is super strong. If you have the nuts, then pot controlling is not an option. Don’t get clever, just try and win the maximum amount of money or poker chips.
If you have a very aggressive image. When players think you are always bluffing they will pay you off more often. So, if you actually have something, there is no need to pot control as much. How to counter aggressive poker players?
Poker tournaments vs cash games
In both games, you are essentially pot controlling to protect yourself from playing a bigger pot than you intend to. The phrase only play big pots with big hands isn’t entirely true but it does hold some merit.
Pot controlling in cash games is more important when the stacks are very deep, 200BB+. The potential for disaster now is much higher than with starting 100BB stacks. For example, you might just call a 3-bet with pocket Queens rather than look to get it all-in pre-flop.
You will usually have way fewer BBs in a poker tournament so pot controlling is all about making sure you are not playing for your tournament life when you don’t want to be.