Pre-flop Strategy Guide

Posted: 2016-12-07 22:04 By:

What is Broadcasting?

Broadcasting is when a player who holds a hand does something that makes it easy for you to tell what their next action will be. For example, some players will pick up some chips ready to bet before the action gets to them. Indeed, when players do this it's easy to pick up on their intention to make a move and thus you can adjust your play accordingly.
What can you do to take advantage of broadcasting?
take advantage of broadcasting

The best advice I can give you so you can take advantage of broadcasting is to not look at your hand straight away. After you cards land in front of you make sure you pause for about 5-15 seconds and watch the other player's reactions to their cards before you look your action.

In low limit games most players will have certain tells that they broadcast and these usually include: holding their cards carelessly if they have a weak hand, grab chips if they are going to call and cover their cards (in order to protect them) if they are thinking about raising. If you can pick up on these tells then you can not only assess the strength of your hand based on its own merits and your position at the table, but what others appear to have based on their reactions.

Indeed, if you can see that each of your opponents has shown you a weak reaction then it's possible to raise with almost anything pre-flop. This is where you should use our pre-flop raising chart in conjunction with the table dynamics. While we advocated raising only 8% of hands in full ring games from UTG, you could increase this to 12%-15% of hands if it appears that no one else at the table is keen to play. Of course, you shouldn't be throwing in raises without thinking just because people appear weak, but you can increase your raising range by paying attention to everyone's tells.
adjusting your range

Consider a contrasting situation which backs up this idea of adjusting your range based on tells:

Let's say you are in middle position and you have a player behind you who is making a motion to raise before the action gets to him. You look down and see A-A and instead of raising you decide to flat call. Although A-A is a very powerful hand, you have already established that someone is willing to raise so you should let them do it. A raise from you might stop them from raising, so by calling you can let them raise you limp and then put in a second bet when the action gets back to you. Doing this will not only give you the advantage in the hand but allow you to put more money in the pot pre-flop.
What can you do to hide your own tells?

The best thing I can suggest is to not look at your cards until it is your turn to act. When you look at your cards you will usually subconsciously change your posture or the way you pay attention to action. Good players will pick up on this so don't give them that opportunity. While the action is moving towards you simply use that time to study everyone else at the table.

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