overbet tips

3 Pro Tips for Overbetting On The Flop (ft. Lucid GTO)

The overbet (betting more than the size of the pot) is a powerful play.

If you use this tactic at the right times, you will win the maximum with your strong hands and run more effective bluffs.

In this article, you will find 3 tips for overbetting on the flop that will help you make more profit at the table.

Let’s dive in!

Note: Parts of this article are quite advanced.

You will need to be familiar with the following concepts: Ranges | Game Theory Optimal (GTO) | Solvers | Mixed Strategies

For introductory and intermediate articles, check out Upswing Poker’s article library here.

Tip #1: With Standard 100bb Stacks, Only Use Overbets in Single-Raised Pots

Single-raised pots are pots in which only 1 raise went in before the flop. For example: You open-raise on the Button and the Big Blind calls.

One of the primary reasons for overbetting on the flop is to build the pot as fast as possible. This allows you to comfortably get your whole stack all-in by the river.

Because it worsens your opponent’s pot odds, overbetting also maximizes the number of bluffs that you can profitably include in your betting range.

Now here’s a practical (rather than a theoretical) consideration…

Compared to overbetting on the river, overbetting on the flop might help opponents feel more comfortable calling you down. This is because the bets don’t feel as big relative to the pot. Psychologically, it’s easier to call $15 in a $10 pot on the flop, rather than $150 in a $100 pot on the river (even though both are 150% pot-sized bets).

Crucial note: Overbetting is only appropriate on certain flops. Tip #2 covers one such flop. Read this guide to learn how to identify overbet-worthy flops on your own.

The Math Behind Overbetting on the Flop

In a single-raised pot, heads-up, the pot will around 6bb on the flop (a bit bigger if you play live poker).

Here are a few bet sizing schemes that will allow you to get your 100bb stack all-in on the river without overbetting on the flop (rounded for simplicity):

Option #1: Bet 33% pot on the flop (2bb into 6bb), 135% on the turn (13.5bb into 10bb), 220% on the river (81bb into 47bb)

Option #2: Bet 75% pot on the flop (4.5bb into 6bb), 135% on the turn (20bb into 15bb), 135% on the river (74bb into 55bb)

Option #3: Bet 75% pot on the flop (4.5bb into 6bb), 75% on the turn (11bb into 15bb), 215% on the river (80bb into 37bb)

Those are some huge overbets on the later streets, especially in option #1 and #3.

But let’s look at a fourth option in which you overbet on the flop:

Option #4: Bet 135% on the flop (8bb into 6bb), 100% on the turn (22bb into 22bb), 100%ish on the river (67bb into 66bb)

It’s a matter of opinion, but that fourth option just feels most comfortable to me. Solvers tend to like it too (as you’ll see in tip #2).

A Quick Word About 3-Bet and 4-Bet Pots with 100bb Stacks

When a re-raise or two has went in before the flop, overbets are not needed because you can get the whole stack all-in without an overbet on any street. This is because the pot is already so bloated from the preflop action.

In a 3-bet pot, for example, the pot will usually be around 20bb on the flop. If you bet 33% pot on the flop and 75% on the turn, you can go all-in with a comfortable 75% pot-sized bet on the river.

Tip#2: Overbets tend to make sense on connected flops with a flush draw

These connected + flush draw boards (such as Qd Tc 2c or Js 9d 5d) provide many possibilities for both players. You and your opponent can easily have combo draws, flush draws, open-ended straight draws, and gutshot straight draws.

When you have a made hand (like an overpair), these high-equity/high-value draws are a major concern since they have so many outs to improve. This is probably the driving factor behind the solver’s preferred strategy of overbetting on these flops.

The strong draws have enough equity (and implied odds) to call both a 75% pot-sized bet and a 135% pot-sized bet. So, you simply get more value by using the overbet.

Gutshot straight draws are dangerous in their own right, and forcing them out of the pot with an overbet on the flop is valuable too (see: equity denial).

Comparing Qd Tc 2c vs Qh Td 2c

Suppose the action folds to you on the Button and you raise. The Small Blind folds and the Big Blind calls.

Let’s compare the optimal strategy in this spot on a couple of Queen-Ten-Two flops — one with a flush draw and one without a flush draw.

I’ll be using the Lucid GTO Trainer to visualize the solver-generated strategies for these situations.

The Lucid GTO Trainer

In this first screenshot, you can see the Button’s flop strategy on Qd Tc 2c after the Big Blind checks.

overbet flop flush draw lucid

Bright Green = Bet 1.5bb, Teal = Bet 6.65bb, Dark Green = Check

The preferred bet size from Lucid GTO is an overbet (6.65bb into 5bb) on this flop.

Compare that to this second screenshot, showing the Button’s c-betting strategy on Qh Td 2c in the same situation:

overbet flop no flush draw lucid

Bright Green = Bet 1.5bb, Teal = Bet 6.65bb, Dark Green = Check

The preferred bet size is now a small bet (1.5bb into 5bb).

This confirms that solvers prefer overbetting on the flush draw board (32%) compared to the rainbow board (14%).

Note: This is one of the best ways to improve your game with the Lucid GTO Trainer. The tool makes it easy to view optimal bet sizes on different flops so you can hone your bet sizing skills.

Tip #3: Overbet with a Polarized Range

To make overbetting a viable strategy, you need to do so with a polarized range that consists of strong value hands and bluffs.

Here’s an example of how that might break down.

Value Range

Bluffing Range

  • Strong draws
    • Combo draws
    • Flush draws
    • Open-enders
    • Gutshot straight draws
  • Bottom Pairs
  • Weak draws

Let’s go through a concrete example using the Qd Tc 2c board from earlier.

Once again, the Button raises, the Big Blind calls, and the flop is Qd Tc 2c. The Big Blind checks and action is on the Button.

Here’s a visual of what the GTO strategy ought to look like, and then I am going to break it down:

overbet flop flush draw lucid

Bright Green = Bet 1.5bb, Teal = Bet 6.65bb, Dark Green = Check

While we see that the solver elects to use a small bet occasionally (13%), it is completely acceptable (and arguably preferred) to only use the overbet size here.

Let’s go through the hand categories I listed above as I would play them (and note that some hands will play a mixed strategy):

Value Range

  • Sets (Pocket Queens, Pocket Tens, Pocket Twos) at 100% frequency
  • Two-pairs (Queen-Ten, Queen-Two suited) at 100% frequency
  • Top Pair + 2nd kicker or better (Ace-Queen, King-Queen) at 100% frequency
  • Top Pair + flush draw at 100% frequency

Bluffing Range

  • Strong draws:
    • Combo-draws (Ac Kc, Ac Jc, Kc Jc, Kc 9c, Jc 9c, Jc 8c, 9c 8c) at 100% frequency
    • Flush draws at 50% frequency
    • Open-enders at 50% frequency
    • Gutshot straight draws (Kx 9x, Jx 8x, and 9x 8x at 75% frequency, Ace-King and Ace-Jack at 25% frequency)
  • Bottom pairs (Ace-Two suited, King-Two Suited) at 75% frequency
  • Weak draws:
    • Backdoor flush draws (ex: 7d 6d, 7d 5d, Jd 5d, Kd 5d, Ac 5x, Ac 4x) at 75% frequency
    • Backdoor straight draws with an overcard to the Ten that is not an Ace (ex: Kh 5h, Ks 4s, Jh 7h, Js 6s) at 25% frequency

While the strategy that I’ve written down is not a perfect replica of the GTO strategy, it encapsulates the core of the strategy and is extremely robust. This would be very tough to play against as the Big Blind.

You can see a clear pattern in the bluffing range. Stronger draws bet more frequently than weaker draws. That is both mathematically proven to be optimal, as well as intuitive for the human mind.

Stronger draws will more often make very big hands. Very big hands want to be in very large pots. Therefore, you should bet (big) with stronger draws to create big pots.

Final Thoughts

These are the core ideas behind overbetting on the flop. With this information, you should be well on your way to implementing overbets into your strategy and creating a living hell for your opponents at the tables. Sounds like fun, right?

If you want to learn more cutting-edge solver strategies that win, watch the video with Doug Polk and Mike Brady below.

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

Note: If you want to practice your cash game skills and get instant feedback on every decision (both preflop and postflop), get the new Lucid GTO Trainer now. You can also look up situations to discover solver-backed strategies like the one in this article. Learn more here!

lucid gto trainer

Watch The Lucid GTO Trainer in Action
with Mike Brady & Doug Polk

There a countless ways to leverage the new Lucid GTO Trainer to improve your poker game. That’s why it’s literally guaranteed to help you get better.

Watch this video to see Lucid GTO in action as Mike Brady and Doug Polk run through 8 tips for using the tool.

Get the Lucid GTO Trainer here!


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About the Author
Dan B.

Dan B.

Online grinder aspiring to reach the highest stakes and crush the toughest games. I'm available for quick strategy questions and hourly coaching -- reach out to me at [email protected].

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