Poker is a game based on betting so knowing the reason why a particular player is betting is very important. Since a bet between a pure bluff and a value bet can look exactly the same in numerical terms, it is the reason that determines whether or not the bet should be folded to, called or even raised. In poker, there are five main types of bets.
A player opens the pot to a raise and gets at least one caller. The remaining players see a flop and the action starts with the original raiser. Most of the time, the original raiser is going to bet after the flop. This bet is known as the Continuation Bet. It is very common, and most players use continuation bets when they get the chance. That is because many times, the flop will not hit their opponents, and a simple continuation bet will take down the pot. The continuation bet continues the aggressive action from the previous street.
This bet is similar to a continuation bet, except the probe bet occurs when the player is not the original raiser. A player opens the pot and is called. When action gets back to the raiser after the flop, he does not bet. The pre-flop poker stars caller may then bet to see if the raiser missed or is slowplaying. This bet is known as a probe bet. It is also known as an information bet. This bet is used to prevent the loss of more money later in the hand, as it is determined to probe or assess how the board has helped or hurt opposing players.
This type of bet is made after the flop and it does not matter if the player making the bet was the original raiser or caller. This bet just comes down to a player flopping a big hand and he is betting to get more money in the pot, as well as to get more value out of his hand. This type of bet can be made on the flop, turn and river, or any combination of the three. A value bet is typically sized so that it is attractive for most hands to call.
This type of PokerStar.net bet is usually made on the turn or river, since a continuation bet that is made even when the player misses is not really thought of as a bluff. When a continuation bet does not win the pot the player may bet again of the turn and/or river as a bluff, hoping his opponent does not have a big enough hand to call again.
If a player feels that if he checks to his opponent, his opponent will make a big bet, the player may decide to bet out himself, but in a smaller amount than his opponent would have. Defensive bets are made to save money, as the smaller amount typically invokes a call.