Pre-flop raise size in no-limit poker


Mike Caro   ← Go back

May 16, 2020 | Last update: None
Duplicated from the Poker1 Talk forum for inclusion in the Library. Forum topic: “How much should a pre-flop raise be in a no-limit game?” default content graphic

Many players raise too large before the flop in no-limit games. If the big blind is twice the small blind, or thereabout, and there are no antes, then the most profitable routine opening raise is 2.75 times the big blind.

Usually, you should choose an amount from 2.5 to 3 times the big blind, while rarely varying it with something larger or even with a minimum raise of just twice the big blind.


This might sound strange to you, because you’re used to seeing opening raises of 5 times the big blind and more quite often. But 2.75, with mild variation, is appropriate and enough to do the job.

Over a long period of time, opening raises averaging larger than 3 times the big blind become less profitable. And don’t forget, calling, rather than raising, is often a good choice, despite what you’ve heard.

70 percent

What if there are already other players who voluntarily entered the pot? Then you should add approximately 70 percent of that additional money to your raise.

I’m sharing this information because I want you to know what I’ve discovered by research. You’re invited to agree or disagree below. It’s your forum. — MC

Grammar note: I’ve deliberately chosen to use numbers above that would normally be spelled as words — like “3”, instead of “three” — because numbers with decimal fractions are included. I’m aware that nine or less is usually spelled thusly. So, no grammatical nitpicking on that one, please. I’m sure I’ll make plenty of other mistakes you can correct.

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Mike Caro

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


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