A mistake that often plagues a rookie’s win rate is the propensity to see too many openings. Then, as the player evolves from a loose passive rookie to a tight aggressive habitual poker player, the same player may even reverse the trend and begin folding early raises too often – less spectacular but equally damaging mistake. In this article, we’ll look at the three reasons why you should go and see an opening. It will be necessary to satisfy at least one for the call to be justified.
At first glance, this reason may seem a bit vague, but we can elaborate it as follows:
The hero is fit and should call for an opening if his hand has a good chance of being ahead of the enemy’s opening range, but behind to continue to 3-bet.
A good example of this reason in action in 6-max cash games would be having a fairly powerful but not great hand, such as suit KJ, different suit AQ, or 99 on the button against a hi-jack opening. Assuming hi-jack is not an unpredictable player, his opening range will perhaps be between 18% and 24% of starting hands. If we 3-bet, we would end up filtering this range: it would become something against which we would no longer be fit and, while taking a few pots when it passes against a 3-bet, we will only do it with the weakest part of the enemy’s range (part against which we would have been happy to play in position anyway).
A good test to verify that you are fit is to ask yourself:
“If I went to see this opening and hit a common but strong hand on the flop, like a top pair or an over pair, would I be happy to have a hand that will very often be the best and able to make me a decent sum?”
If the answer to this question is no, it is likely that the enemy’s range is too tight to allow us to play our hand, decent but not great, at least as far as the reason for being fit is concerned.
Let’s imagine that in a 6-max cash game, the under the gun player, who has been very tight and solid so far, raises to 3 big blinds and our position is that of cut-off with AJ of different suit. The absolute strength of our hand is reasonable, but the strength relative to the enemy’s range is limited. Answering the previous question, we would be reluctant to say yes. When we hit top pair with Axx on the flop, we’ll run into [AQ-AK] much more often than we’d like. When the flop is Jxx, there will be 18 combinations of [QQ-AA] to worry about. Not to mention all the times we get nothing on the flop and have no equity or fold equity to continue against a C-bet. Here the likely range of the enemy is so safe that we will rarely be fit without something stronger in hand. There’s a’
The different-suited AJ pair from the previous example is not only not fit, but it doesn’t look good either. The main drawback of the hand is that the pair that is regularly hit on the flop is too often outclassed. Consequently, we will need to get better hands than a pair on a regular basis to have any hope of calling. AJ of different suit is simply the wrong kind of hand for our purpose. On the flop it is almost never better than a pair and, when it is, it could still end up dominated against a tight range of very good cards.
The hands that perform best on the flop by beating all the top pairs, top kickers and big over pairs in the world fall into the hands with implied odds. This means that the money lost from flat-calling an opening, missed the flop and subsequently lost the pot could be recovered with interest from the fairly frequent occasions where they will hit big hands on the flop by winning big pots . This group of hands includes things like 44, which can become lethal well-camouflaged three of a kind, 87 suit, which is more flexible, allowing you to beat a pair in many ways, and A5 suit, which represents the latent threat of a suit. color that beats color. It is not always possible to go and see an opening with these hands, but they certainly don’t need to be ahead on an opening range in order to become profitable. They make up for lost ground by winning very large sums from time to time.
It is important to see implied odds not as an opportunity, but as a relationship. In particular, good implied odds will be characterized by a low investment level and a high average payout if we are lucky enough to make a nut hand. Some beginners are lightning fast when it comes to seeing a giant 3-bet with 55, lured by the prospect of taking over the opponent’s stack when that elusive five appears on the flop. The problem here is that the 3-bet of 14 big blinds is too big to hunt for three of a kind. The times we are successful, winning a large average amount of our opponent’s stack, are canceled out with interest from the times we will burn an investment too high pre-flop. To go and call with one hand with implied odds, we need the ratio of average premium to pre-flop investment to be favorable. Here is a good rule of thumb.
If we want to play a pocket pair aiming for three of a kind, we must aim to multiply our investment by 10 every time we get it.
This is because we will be able to get three of a kind on the flop about once in ten. With a hand consisting of sequential cards of the same suit or a minimum straight and ace of the same suit, the ratio of risk and reward must improve because these hands can beat a pair more rarely than a small pocket pair. Here are some factors that will improve implied odds and increase the expected value of calling an opening for reason 2.
The enemy has a very tight range, so he will often have a strong hand to make us pay with.
The enemy is a bad player who tends to bluff too often or call too much post-flop.
Effective stack size is higher than normal (more money to win)
We are in position (this makes it easier to make the most of post-flop).
Being in the big blind position greatly increases our pot odds. When the player at the cut-off raises to 2.5 big blinds, calling costs us 1.5 big blinds instead of the 2.5 big blinds on the button. It is a discount that we will undoubtedly have to take advantage of on a regular basis, even with hands that would not be suitable for calling based on reasons 1 and 2 above. that hand will be -1 big blinds per hand. Many of the hands we are going to see small openings with from this position will still cause us to lose money, but on average much less than we could lose by passing. Looking ahead, their expected value could be -0.86 big blinds. A marked improvement.
For example, suppose we are going to see the small cut-off opening with 98 of different suit. We are not at all in shape against his range, nor do we have good enough implied odds, not being in position and having cards in sequence of different suits and average value. The issue is that we can count on a favorable cost, so you don’t need a great post-flop performance for going to see to be more profitable than passing. In other words, we may not be able to jump very high, but fortunately the bar is very low.
The other advantage of going to see an opening in the big blind is that we will close the action. This means that no one will be able to squeeze play or go see after us. Note that for the same reasons, the small blind is by no means an effective place to guard against raises. It is also unnecessary to add that our pot odds are worse from the small blind, as the lower initial investment leads to a lower discount on the cost of going to see the open.
Finally, if we can enjoy the luxury of being both in the big blind and in position against a small raise, then we should really call a very wide range. In this case, dark against dark occurs. Against an opening of 2.5 big blinds in this situation, some very speculative hands are added to the party. Hands like Q5 of the same suit and 86 of different suits become rarity on the flop due to the increased pot odds and position incentives. As seen above, it is likely that going to see from these positions will not pay off, but you will lose less than passing. In other words, going to see has a greater expected value than going through.
The temptation to see too much must be avoided when none of the three reasons occur. Just because we would be playing a hand if everyone around us folded doesn’t mean we can get involved in a raise. By adopting a tighter strategy and starting to avoid going for doubtful cases, we could also make sure we don’t get too tight from the big blind, where pot odds are more profitable.