If you intend to quickly take your game to the next level, mastering the art of value betting would be of great importance to you.
Simply put, the objective of value betting is to extract as much cash from your opponent as possible.
Hence when you want to bet on the river, there are some things you need to ask yourself. First you need to figure out the probability of getting raised by a player who is either bluffing or holding a better hand.
You also need to figure out how much money he/she is willing to call. The answer to that question is rather very complex. This greatly depends on how astutely you have been observing your opponent.
If the player has a feeling of coming out second best, he/she may not even call a bet that is worth half the pot. Also, if you bet big there is a chance of being called by players that probably have a bigger hand than you.
This should not force you into always making a small bet on the rive. Remember, betting wisely against the right opponent is bound to fetch you a good pot.
For instance, when you hit a straight or flush on the river and are faced with an aggressive opponent, what do you do? A big bet is likely to draw a call from him despite holding a weaker hand. At this juncture, he/she may feel that you don't have the winning hand and are trying to intimidate him out of contention. Hence you job is to bet in such a manner that it appears as though you are bluffing.
The idea is to know what your opponent is likely to chase and the worth of what your hold. Since this is bound to change from opponent to opponent. For instance when you are playing a tight players, betting less will is more likely to fetch you a call. A timid player feels he is behind when faced with a strong bet and does not participate in the action.
It is also a good tactic to sometime go in for a bigger bet. This usually surprises them. You might end up being the beneficiary of a good pot on most occasions. This is primarily because they feel you are bluffing and end up making the call.
In short, to bet the right amount one needs to focus on betting patterns of opponents of all times. This might be a bit tough when you start out, but eventually you will have to develop a habit of understanding when your opponents are likely to call or fold on the river.