When making a value bet, you are trying to extract money from a lesser hand.
To extract value essentially means that you think have the better hand, and your opponent may pay you off with a worse hand if you bet.
Almost all of your bets in poker will be either a value bet, or a bluff.
SIZING YOUR VALUE BETS
You should bet an amount you believe your opponent could call with a lesser hand.
If you think your opponent’s hand is strong, then you can bet a large amount, such as a pot sized bet.
If you think your opponent has a weaker made hand such as 1 pair, then you can value bet a little smaller to give him a good price on a marginal hand, such as a 1/2 pot sized bet.
Keep your opponents’ range of hands in mind when trying to size your value bet.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
OTHER REASONS TO VALUE BET
A semi-bluff is when you are betting as a bluff because you don’t have a made hand, however you have a considerable number of cards to come, or “outs”, that will give you the best hand. This is also referred to as “betting on the come”.
An example of this is when you flop a 4 card flush draw, and you bet the flop to try and win it right there. You may be betting as a bluff, but you have a decent chance of still winning the pot if you are called.
Sometimes you want to chase out draws on a draw-heavy board when you have what is likely the best hand. You can also make these draws pay to see their cards so when they miss, you win a sizeable pot.
Because The Pot Is Big Enough:
Sometimes whether you have the hand or not, the pot is ultimately worth it to take down. Maybe you lose value by shoving your made hand all in, but the pot is large enough as it is to take down without having to show it down after the river.
To See Where You Stand:
I’ve heard a lot of different arguments for this type of bet. The fact is that some great players execute this bet at times, and some very rarely do.
The concept here is to simplify the hand. Instead of guessing in a close spot, you make your opponent guess by putting in a bet or a raise. If they re-raise you, you can fold your mid-value hand.
A recent example of this comes from the 2014 WSOP $1 million buyin event. Andrew Robl raised from early position with AA, and Phil Ivey re-raised him from the button with AK. When Robl put in a 4-bet and raised Ivey again, Ivey folded. Ivey decided the best (and possibly the simplest) way to play the hand would be to see where he was at by re-raising with his Ace King. When he was re raised again by Robl, he decided to believe his opponent and make a good fold. Watch the clip of this here.