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Poker Dictionary (106) > Overbet

Over bets & Online Poker

An 'overbet' is an over sized bet that is made into a pot - meaning the bet is more than the size of the pot. If the pot size is £100, betting £150 into a £100 pot would be seen as an overbet as you are risking £150 to win £100. It is best practice not to bet more than the pot size as you would be risking more than the rewards available.

Determining risk vs reward is an important concept in deciding whether to bet and how much. You see this all the time in tournament play in which a player will risk his whole stack to win a few chips. With a starting stack of 3000 in a tournament, this might be an all in shove into a 300 pot with Pocket J's. This type of play makes little sense as the risk doesn't justify the reward (unless it was a rebuy and there was an exceptionally loose table).

Desperation to double up might be a factor however, the reasons is more likely to be that the player doesn't have the skill or discipline to build a stack playing good solid poker.

You will find more overbets in online poker as a player can look very foolish when they get it wrong. The protection of a computer screen enables some players to make more adventurous moves online than they would in a live environment.

If you have a big hand, it is considerably more profitable not to scare everyone off before there is a pot worth winning and secondly, by going all in, you will likely only get called if you're behind (depending on the quality of opposition).

Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions when it might make sense to bet more than the pot. You may want to show your opponent that you are strong and have the best hand. Over-betting the pot shows that you are charging a premium to chase a drawing hand. If you are not protecting a hand, you might want to close down the hand before an opponent catches what he needs.

The last reason you may overbet a hand is if you are up against an idiot that you think might call you.

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