Pre-flop Strategy Guide

Posted: 2016-12-07 22:04 By: Casinocradle.com


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While you might think that raising pre-flop when UTG is a more costly strategy the opposite is actually true. Indeed, consider a scenario where you simply called pre-flop with A-K and four other people did the same. The board rolls out K, 4, 3, 5, 7 and you've bet on all three streets because you have top pair and assume that the most likely hand someone has is a pair of 77+. However, when each player reveals their hand you see that one of them A-2 and takes the pot with a straight.

Because you failed to raise pre-flop you gave a player with a weak hand the chance to enter the pot cheaply and outdraw you to win the pot. Preventing players from playing weak hands and hitting disguised hands should be your main aim when raising UTG because it will allow you to play against opponents with a narrower range (i.e. only good hands that you can read more easily) and make you more money in the long run.
Putting Together a Pre-Flop Formula

As we've established, a number of players make a lot of mistakes pre-flop to so help you fix your leaks we've put together a general guide for the types of hands you should be playing at each position at the table: To fix the leaks in your game I suggest you follow the following pre-flop strategy until you get a feel of the game and the players that you are playing with.
UTG:
Raise with A-A, K-K, A-Ks, Q-Q, A-K, J-J, A-Qs, A-Qo, or A-Js.
Call: No hands.

    A-A K-K A-Ks Q-Q A-K J-J A-Qs A-Qo A-Js


Early position (seats 2-4)
Raise with same hands plus 10-10, A-J, K-Qs.
Call: K-Qo

    A-A K-K A-Ks Q-Q A-K J-J A-Qs A-Qo A-Js 10-10 A-J K-Qs

    K-Qo

Middle position (seats 5-7)
Raise with same hands plus K-Qo, K-Js, Q-Js
Call: A-10s, A-10o, K-Jo, Q-Jo, K-10s, 9-9, 8-8

    A-A K-K A-Ks Q-Q A-K J-J A-Qs A-Qo A-Js 10-10 A-J K-Qs K-Qo K-Js Q-Js

    A-10s A-10o K-Jo Q-Jo K-10s 9-9 8-8

Late position (seats 8-9)
Raise with same hands plus A-10s, K-10s, K-Jo, Q-Jo, 9-9, 8-8
Call: 7-7, 6-6, 5-5, Q-10s, Q-10o, K-10o, J-10s, J-10o, J-9s

    A-A K-K A-Ks Q-Q A-K J-J A-Qs A-Qo A-Js 10-10 A-J K-Qs K-Qo K-Js Q-Js A-10s K-10s K-Jo Q-Jo 9-9 8-8

    7-7 6-6 5-5 Q-10s Q-10o K-10o J-10s J-10o J-9s

While this guide is a great start it's important to remember that everything at the poker table is subjective. Sometimes you need to adjust the requirements based on the players around and that could mean being somewhat looser or tighter than stated above.
Pre-Flop Tells Through Broadcasting
Broadcasting

Whenever I play poker one thing that helps me calculate whether I should call is whether or not someone is giving away the strength of their hand (broadcasting) before the action gets to them. It is neither a mathematical aspect nor a psychological aspect of the game, but it is a combination of both. When you learn the art of spotting broadcasters at a live table you can work out if someone is going to make a move based on their reactions to their cards.

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