In poker, you need to know when it is safe to bet and when it is dangerous. Caro even says that you cannot study this enough because he feels this is where half the profit is going to come from by concentrating on tells. Before you make a bet it would be a smart idea just to look at your opponent first. If you notice him looking away or ignoring you, this is a very dangerous spot to bet because he will almost always raise.
It is safe to bet when the player in the hand is staring you down or trying to act intimidating. It has been said over and over that weak means strong and strong means weak, and that is no different when determining if you should bet or not.
The toughest decisions you will face when betting are with your medium strength hands, not your weak or strong ones. Knowing when it is safe to do so is necessary for profit in the long run. A poor bet is simply betting into someone with a medium strength hand, like two pair on a flush board, when your opponent is paying no attention at all. You should not bet if they are trying to look unintimidating.
One big indication on your opponents hand is their eyes. If you ever notice someone looking in a direction that their head is not pointing, they are waiting to pounce on the pot. For example, if their head is facing straight ahead, perhaps at the pot, but out of the corner of their eye keep looking back at you, you can bet they are doing this because they are very strong. They are anxious and hope you bet so they can raise.
One of the biggest things to look for is how a player watches you when you are thinking about making a bet. You want to watch them watch you, and they can give off some big tells while doing this. For instance, if they aren’t watching you at all, look out! Ignoring or paying no attention is a big hand. On the other hand, players reaching for their chips out of turn are usually weak. Another instance of weakness is if you reach to bet and your opponent starts to turn up their hand or act like they will instantly call. Knowing when to bet and when not to is a very important concept, especially with medium strength hands. You do not want to bet into a better hand and have a tough decision, but you also want to know when it is profitable to do so.
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