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Silver Pre-Flop Hand Categories: Article Discussion Group (omg omg!)

    • datsmahname
      Joined: 23.11.2009 Posts: 1,366
      Depending on how this one goes i might do this for each silver article, post summaries, facilitate some discussion, and then yeno... grind out some more mobnies.

      A lil about me: I've been playing LHE for over a year. I post regularly on 2+2 in the microstakes forum. I've enjoyed a decent winrate over 60K hands (4BB/100) but over the last few months i've slacked off so i'm looking for a more concrete way to improve my play so i don't turn into a spewtard fish.


      Preflop Hand Categories: Silver Article

      Pocket Pairs:

      So off the top they compare QQ+ to TT-JJ. Obviously, our hand strength either on the flop or preflop will depend on the level of aggression in our games.

      For instance, at a tight table vs an early position raise from a TAG & an MP 3-bettor, TT in the HJ seat shrinks up considerably.... but in a 6-max game vs a LAG EP opener & a LAGtag 3-bettor, TT in the CO is a very standard 3-bet.

      I think its worth mentioning that when faced with the above scenarios with QQ+ we're much more likely to have our opponents dominated than with JJ/TT (where they'll have a significant range of overcards).

      Next they compare medium pairs (77-99). on one hand, sure we can expect such pairs to win UI more than their share of the time against 1 or 2 opponents.... and agaisnt 5 or more we're clearly getting the correct odds to try and get in cheaply, flop a set, and win a big pot...

      But theres this fuzzy area around which medium pocket pairs can become tricky to play & it seems worth thinking about.

      If for instance, 3 loose players limp infront of us and we have 77 OTB, should we raise or overlimp? I think this can often be a raise given that we have position postflop.... but certainly overlimping can't be so bad either. If these 3 players are aggressive then overlimping may be better since we'll have difficulty continuing postflop if theres a check/raise on a drawy board & more than one player decides to continue. in that spot maybe our implied odds for set mining are better.

      Even then, these situations are somewhat idealized and there are many marginal situations that I want to get a better grasp on.

      Next up, the small pairs (66-22). Obviously 66 is one of those gray areas again. I think we can profitably open 22+ on the button as long as the rake is not to high... but if a few passive players are already in & we're in late position with such hands its not always clear that we're getting the right odds to set mine.

      Suited Hands:

      Big suited broadways. clearly some of the easiest hands to play postflop in multiway pots. If you have top pair with such hands & someone reps 2 pair on the turn you're usually looking at 5 or more outs, and sometimes a lot more. with QQ+ you'll often have fewer outs to improve against better made hands.

      With pocket pairs i sometimes find myself in these funny "kind of ahead/way behind" spots on a drawy board, usually with overcards to my pair. With AJs+, AQo+ its often the case that we'll have top pair OR overcards to the board and we'll be holding a bundle of outs.

      Suited broadways are also great to play in spots where we might be behind but our draw to a flush gives us enough equity to justify putting in more bets. Lets say...

      Hero has A:diamond: Q:diamond:

      Hero raises, BTN calls, SB calls, BB calls.

      Flop: Q:heart: J:heart: 7:diamond:

      we bet, they all call

      Turn: 2:diamond, we bet, BTN & SB call, BB raises us.

      I think that even if we expect the BB to have 2 pair slightly more than half the time we can justify 3-betting. First, the board is draw heavy & so our opponents are likely to continue with such draws like KT, T9, XX:heart: and so on. Plus, we usually have at least 9 flush outs to the best hand. We also have the best hand some of the time & we're against KQ or whatever.

      Little Suited Broadways:

      Great hands in late position, often underplayed OOP as well. QJs in the SB with 3 limpers is a great spot to value raise while mixing up your preflop range. It can be tricky to play OOP when you flop overcards though...

      Suited aces:

      Over the last year i've learned to play these hands very differently. Overlimping A7s in hopes to flop & jam a good draw has now become more of an isoraise against a loose limper to occasionally win unimproved & exploit a decent edge + create some dead money from the blinds.

      A2s by contrast is a much harder hand to isoraise especially if villain is limping say 40% but raising only 2%. If we keep postflop tendencies in the ballpark of standard fish, I think its correct to raise wider against a 40% limper with a 15% PFR range since we're much less likely to be dominated by his limping range.

      Clearly this is one area where making adjustments has been kind of easy & maybe i'm naive to think this way... A9s-A5s are sometimes tricky due to being dominated AND depending on the villain getting little action when we flop the best hand with TPWK.

      Suited Kings & Queens:

      funneh hands. Q9s on the BTN can sometimes be an isoraise if the blinds are tight & i have a decent read. K7s as well... but I'm reluctant to open my range further & mostly because i don't know how to justify these decisions in a fundamental way.

      I recall overlimping Q4s quite correctly after 6 limpers on the button at .02/.04... and now i struggle more considering whether i can ATS the blinds at .25/.50 with the same hand against a 25/15 SB & 10/5 BB. It seems close & potentially profitable.

      It might also be misleading to describe these as perfect for a blind defense. if the BTN opens , SB folds, & we have K2s in the BB its sometimes just a fold... If he's only opening 25% on the BTN i think we give up quite correctly if we do not plan to make a lot of moves UI postflop. The problem is largely described by the strat page: domination issues... if we flop top pair we aren't likely to get much action unless villain has us out kicked (or worse) and on KXX boards villain will often be unimproved. Unless he's particularly aggro & we can expect him to barrel multiple streets unimproved then its hard to justify continuing in the blinds against a tight range with weak suited kings.

      Sooted COnnectorgadgets:

      aptly dramatized imo. these hands have a reputation for popping up in unusual places. Again they are good hands for blind defenses but if the SB raises & there are a few limpers in, sometimes i think our relative position makes it correct to give up with something like 86s or 97s. a SB raise range is tight on average & we often flop something weak to marginal with such hands... being OOP & having to guess at what will happen behind us on multiple betting rounds i think leads some of these hands to be -EV even though they look pretty.

      merph, sooted trash... if lots of players limp & i can complete a SB then i'm interested... but only if the BB like never raises. i want 9:1 odds or better with a somewhat passive table to limp the weaker trashy suited hands because we often flop something ragged & if its usually getting bet & raised on the flop we can expect to get the incorrect odds to continue very often.

      Big offsuite broadways & lil offsuit broadways:

      yay more goot hands. AT+ is pretty much a raise from anywhere in 6-max... but with the offsuit hands i sometimes find myself overlimping the SB or checking a BB with AT if there are 3 or so limpers in. Its hard to win unimproved against a large field & i don't expect to generate much fold equity with my raise against loose limpers. raising preflop can sometimes leave us guessing about whether we want to check & consider a call or bet to prevent giving freecards to 6+ outer hands.

      They can be a bit tricky especially with a hand like A9 vs 2 limpers in the SB. overlimping & raising preflop can often be close & i think it depends on how tight the BB is... and if we can expect to be dominated a decent amount. hard to play UI postflop in a 4 way pot... and sometimes spewy anyways if the flop texture puts us in a weird spot with respect to c-betting OOP.

      Clearly the difference between the big offsuit & the little offsuit broadways is that with AJ+, whenever you flop TP its always with a good kicker. Your kicker is much more likely to play at showdown & will tend to give you extra outs against your opponents range of hands that can be counterfeited by the river.

      Offsuit Trash:

      I'll admit, i've been betting on this trash correctly for a ling time. 98o on the BTN is in my open raise range. Still, i think we go little further than that when we focus on hands that we can play for value under conditions where we will have some but not a lot of fold equity postflop.


      datsmahname reads silver article on preflop hand categories, rants about various topics & lists them throught the OP ITT
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