What is Overbet and the strategy to Overbet?

What is Overbet and the strategy to Overbet?

Table of content:

Poker presents the ultimate merger between strategy and luck. One of the most important strategies employed in poker is that of overbetting – a bluff meant to mislead the opponents into overestimating the worth of the player’s hand.

Let’s define an overbet in poker

An overbet refers to a bet that is larger than the current size of the pot. An overbet sizing is usually placed between 33 – 100% of the pot size.

What can an overbet in poker do for you?

  • Against an inexperienced or weak player, you will be able to gain significantly by placing an overbet in poker for a monster hand. It might even frustrate him or her and force them to err.
  • Mislead the opponent into believing that you are weak and trying to buy your way out of a jam.
  • Allows the player to get an all-in in single raised pots without being check raised.
  • Gets the maximum value for strong hands.
  • Better risk to reward ratio for a bluff.

When is it that the player must go for the kill?

A player must resort to making an overbet in poker in the following circumstances –

  • This strategy is best suited for deep stacked games where one can make large bets.
  • The most common spot to go for an overbet in poker is during the river.
  • When you are aware that your player has a strong hand and you have a slightly better hand than him or her. This can happen only after you have pegged the range of the opponent.
  • Do not resort to this if your opponent’s range is weak, as they might end up folding to the overbet in poker.
  • When you are resorting to a value overbet in poker, then ensure that you do not have a hand that would block the hands that your opponent is likely to call with.
  • Consider the player that has the nut advantage before deciding the spots to overbet in poker. The nut advantage usually occurs when a player chooses a passive course of action instead of betting or check raising or reraising during a preflop.
  • Overbet as a bluff when you are fairly certain that the opponent has a medium strength hand.
  • They work best when they are used sparingly as they become more believable and less predictable. For instance, if you have lately made an overbet in poker that was not called, then an alert adversary might regard you with suspicion for bluffing if you happen to overbet soon after that.
  • Sometimes a smaller bluff may be as effective as an overbet to get your opponent to fold. Therefore, think twice before resorting to an overbet in poker.
  • Recognise your image and play it to your advantage, giving overt signals to mislead your opponents.

How to determine the range for over betting

  • Bad players are more likely to make pay offs more frequently in case you value overbet.
  • When faced with balanced players use the formula Bet / (Pot + Bet). You can also use this formula to assess the frequency with which you must call when faced with an overbet in poker.
  • Also, be mindful of the Kelly criterion strategy of bankroll management while making this bet.
  • Ensure that you pick your overbet sizing based on the number of bluffs and value hands that your range has relative to your opponent’s, and adjust thereafter based on relevant considerations of the hand.

Overbetting can be counterintuitive

Overbetting aimlessly is considered a poor strategy in the following circumstances –

  • In case you have an extremely strong hand and you overbet, then you run the risk of scarring out the potential callers for smaller bets, thereby losing out some extra chips.
  • When you are aware that the player has a weak range and will most likely fold in case you overbet in poker.


Using an overbet in poker is a complicated strategy that needs a lot of experience and practice – one wrong step can come down as a costly mistake. Master the fundamentals of poker, learn the rules in its entirety and get a solid experience of the game first hand before employing this strategy in your game play.  Once you have done so, there is no stopping you from striking terror in the minds of your opponents!

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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