View Full Version : Truly random bets

05-18-2005, 04:39 PM
Sorry in advance if this has been discussed before...

I'm a weak player, and I'm trying to improve my bubble/HU results. One of my many leaks is that I suspect my hands are easily read from my betting patterns. Since I'm not savvy/smart enough to outplay my opponents by manipulating bet sizes, I wonder whether making truly random bets in some situations might actually be an improvement.

The idea would be that I'd decide whether to play a hand PF by considering all the usual criteria such as strength of my hand, position, stack sizes relative to blinds, etc. If that decision is "yes," then I'd use the output from a random number generator to decide the bet/raise amount, say from limping/calling to 5xBB. If the result is 40% or more (or whatever) of my stack, then I go all-in. At least this way there would be no correlation between the amount I bet and the strength of my hand.

I also wonder how this would be received in a live tournament. I could bring along a die, and announce to my table in advance how the amount I bet will be correlated to the number which appears when I roll the die. (Would this be allowed?) Then my opponents would know they couldn't put me on a certain range of hands based on whether I limp or make a big raise.

05-18-2005, 04:45 PM
You would be much better off making standard size bets (ex. same bet for every opening hand, depending on number of limpers, blind sizes etc.)

05-18-2005, 04:49 PM
I dont think randomizing your bets would help you that much. Sure people wouldnt be able to read your by the amount you bet but at the same time you kill your opportunities to value bet and are likely to end up putting too much/too little in the pot at crucial points where you are trying to take it down or cut down on the odds to draw.

Seems to me your bigger problem may be that you arnt mixing it up enough. Obviously there are general ranges as to what the appropriate bet is in a given situation, but sometimes you need to bet when you arnt ahead or slow things down when you have a monster. Obviously we know what those are but if your opponent knows that a check doesnt necessarily mean your weak or a bet doesnt mean your strong, the exact value of the bet has less meaning and its harder to put you on a hand based on what your betting. I guess I'm saying that you should mix up your bets, but doing so completely randomly (as to the bet amount) is probably not the best strategy.

the shadow
05-18-2005, 05:41 PM
IMHO, keep it simple, especially when learning the game or trying to improve.

One way is to use a formula for bet sizes. Check out Dali's formula at section 2.3 of the favorite threads (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=singletable&Number=191 8735&fpart=1&PHPSESSID=) list.

Another way is to follow the 10xBB rule -- push when your stack is <= 10x the blind blind. See section 2.5.

While I wouldn't recommend it, online play offers an advantage to use a bet amount to represent a hand. For example, if the flop comes Q-7-3, you might raise to $333 to represent a set. YMMV.

Hope this helps.

The Shadow

Slim Pickens
05-18-2005, 06:41 PM
Don't forget why the "standard bets" are the size they are. There is a numerical calculation that can be done to show how often certain made hands win, and how much you need to bet to make it a mistake for any single opponent with a lesser hand to call you. Variations from that amount lead to a lower EV. Right around the value (which will change depending on a lot of factors, but is always in the 3/4-1 x pot range postflop), EV for the hand is fairly flat, but far away, it's not. Long story short, you can bounce around a little near the "standard" bet size without much loss, but far away from it, you're taking a big hit. That's Level 1 poker.

That being said, good players can make up the EV and then some by deception, by purposely misbetting their hands to fool opponents. That's Level 2 poker. A lot of people skip Level 1, thinking it less important, boring, or dorky to have to consider numbers. Some are even successful, winning players this way, but most are not. I'm going to say 90% of fish are fish because they don't consider the numbers behind why they bet what when.

So to answer your post: No, I think the RNG idea is a terrible one. It sounds like you know how to make a standard bet, so do it. Low-level SnG players are, for the most part, way to self-absorbed to even notice the difference between a 3BB open-raise and a 6BB raise over 4 limpers. I think you're giving them too much credit for understanding poker, and you're outsmarting yourself. Just play your standard game and watch more carefully as your opponents act like the fish they are. I think you'll find that more often than not, their "good reads" you thought they were making on you are really just bad plays gone good. You should always have a reason for every move you make, so most of the time, keep it simple.