Need advice on Open Raising range in SH

    • livelydolphin
      livelydolphin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 30
      I am referring to the open raising chart in http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/1671/1/

      My open raising hands differ from the chart rather significantly and therefore I've a few questions in mind:
      1. If u play so many Ax hands in CO and BU wouldn't you run into kicker problems? Especially A6 to A9 hands when there are no straight draws possibilities.

      2. Why is two-gappers connectors so seldom played (according to the chart)? Is the probability of hitting a straight or open ended straight that much lower such that it is not that profitable to play? (compared to one-gappers and connectors)

      3. I seldom raise with non-suited connectors and much prefer suited connectors because of the added flush possibilities. I'll rather much raise with 69s than 78o. So therefore I am wondering is it possible that I am over-rating suited cards and under-rating non-suited connectors (67, 78, 89 etc)?

      I understand that the chart is just a basic guide and we definitely don't strictly follow it. However, I'll like to sharpen my fundamentals and understand the reasons behind playing/ not playing certain hands. I hope someone can help me out with this! Thanks!
  • 5 replies
    • cauelaratta
      cauelaratta
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.02.2010 Posts: 86
      great post, I have the exactly same doubts as you!

      I´d like to hear an opinion from the pros!

      :f_biggrin:
    • Rakijan
      Rakijan
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.02.2009 Posts: 7
      I had same questions in mind but then i looked little more into it and i come to conclusion it is everything because of implied pot odds, with suited cards your hand is preety obvious and you have troubles getting paid off with them against solid players on the other hand with offsuited connectors your hand is more hidden (double belly buster, OESD, ... ) so you have better chance of getting paid off, but also want to hear if i came to a good conclusion.
    • BogdanPS
      BogdanPS
      Basic
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Originally posted by livelydolphin
      I am referring to the open raising chart in http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/bss/1671/1/

      My open raising hands differ from the chart rather significantly and therefore I've a few questions in mind:
      1. If u play so many Ax hands in CO and BU wouldn't you run into kicker problems? Especially A6 to A9 hands when there are no straight draws possibilities.

      CO is different than BTN and should be treated as such. When you are on the CO it's very important to look at how BTN plays. IF he is tight than you can play the same range as on the BTN (almost).

      I'm assuming your question refers to us having kicker problems versus the blinds calling us so I'll address that. When two people hold an Ax hand the chance of an A flopping is similar to the chance of us flopping a set when holding a PP (thus very small). So normally this is not a huge issue. Secondly, let's say you play A6 there's a good chance the blinds won't play A7-A9 and even AT-AJ unless they are fishy players. And if they are fishy players they will have a lot more junk in there so it's worth raising any A.

      It's also good to note that when you play a weak A hand and you flop an A you don't have to play a huge pot. You are in position and after all can dictate the play (and pot size) for the most part.



      2. Why is two-gappers connectors so seldom played (according to the chart)? Is the probability of hitting a straight or open ended straight that much lower such that it is not that profitable to play? (compared to one-gappers and connectors)

      the equity difference (preflop) between these hands is not huge. Let's take 98s,97s, 96s vs JJ-22,AQs-ATs,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,T9s,98s,87s,76s,65s,54s,AQo-ATo,KTo+,QJo preflop:
      98s:41.9%
      97s:40.3%
      96s:38.9%
      98o:38.8%

      While there isn't a huge difference between them it's clear that they have less equity. The less equity you have the better you have to play postflop. Given that these charts are usually followed by new(er) players you usually want to avoid putting them in too many bad scenarios where they have to make up for weak(er) equity in other ways.

      Less equity postflop also means less board textures where we can continue on.


      3. I seldom raise with non-suited connectors and much prefer suited connectors because of the added flush possibilities. I'll rather much raise with 69s than 78o. So therefore I am wondering is it possible that I am over-rating suited cards and under-rating non-suited connectors (67, 78, 89 etc)?

      As shown above that 96s has a tiny bit more equity, preflop, than 98o so you are onto something. Personally I prefer suited cards over off suite cards as well for a couple of reasons:
      1: They offer me more spots to barrel postflop.
      Example 1: I have 96 hh on Kh2d5s. On the turn there are 10 cards that give us a flush draw and thus more equity along with 6 more cards that gives us gutshots.
      Example 2: Against the same range as we used above on a flop of Kh9d4s 96s has ~61% equity while 98o has 59% equity.
      2: The kicker of 98o is not much different than that of 96s, the only real difference comes from the fact that the first one can flop a better second pair (8x vs 6x).
      With that being said it's not that I won't open 98o on the BTN but that I would prefer a suited hand, especially if I have to play any sort of real postflop game.


      I understand that the chart is just a basic guide and we definitely don't strictly follow it. However, I'll like to sharpen my fundamentals and understand the reasons behind playing/ not playing certain hands. I hope someone can help me out with this! Thanks!
    • sapheal
      sapheal
      Global
      Joined: 23.02.2008 Posts: 1,015
      Originally posted by livelydolphin

      1. If u play so many Ax hands in CO and BU wouldn't you run into kicker problems? Especially A6 to A9 hands when there are no straight draws possibilities.

      2. Why is two-gappers connectors so seldom played (according to the chart)? Is the probability of hitting a straight or open ended straight that much lower such that it is not that profitable to play? (compared to one-gappers and connectors)

      3. I seldom raise with non-suited connectors and much prefer suited connectors because of the added flush possibilities. I'll rather much raise with 69s than 78o. So therefore I am wondering is it possible that I am over-rating suited cards and under-rating non-suited connectors (67, 78, 89 etc)?
      livelydolphin :s_thumbsup: ,

      Firstly, what a great nickname! :)

      Secondly,

      Originally posted by livelydolphin

      1. If u play so many Ax hands in CO and BU wouldn't you run into kicker problems? Especially A6 to A9 hands when there are no straight draws possibilities.
      Straight draws are not that big of a concern. The thing is that you want to be able to play pots in position, esp. against people that fold a lot. Of course, you cannot lose too much when you have a dominated ace.

      Originally posted by livelydolphin
      2. Why is two-gappers connectors so seldom played (according to the chart)? Is the probability of hitting a straight or open ended straight that much lower such that it is not that profitable to play? (compared to one-gappers and connectors)
      It is much lower and in this chart we basically try to play for value with value hands and use less bluff-outs with semibluffing hands. In terms of equity one-gappers and two-gappers both often have medium-two-card value, which is good and are suited. Still, in terms of equity suitedness doesn't change that much- it's more playability. The same concerning two-gappers - you won't hit straights that often but you can find spots where you can play the hand aggressively.

      Still, the aim of this chart is to help you win at poker as soon as possible (so that you can move up the stakes fast). Poker is not an easy game and using too wide range may make it even more difficult.


      Originally posted by livelydolphin
      3. I seldom raise with non-suited connectors and much prefer suited connectors because of the added flush possibilities. I'll rather much raise with 69s than 78o. So therefore I am wondering is it possible that I am over-rating suited cards and under-rating non-suited connectors (67, 78, 89 etc)?
      In terms of equity, you might be overrating suited cards, especially out of position. But it's difficult to judge without knowing exactly how you play. In position, flush possiblity is a big advantage.

      Cheers,
      Michal
    • livelydolphin
      livelydolphin
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 30
      Thanks for all the feedback! After playing SH for some time I realized the hands to play depend on the dynamics at the table. If we have been aggressive for past few hands, we should tighten our open raising range.

      Hi Michal, it's nice to see that you are giving lots of advice on the forum! :s_biggrin: