Small pocket pairs and starting hand chart

    • YuvalW
      YuvalW
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.05.2011 Posts: 30
      According to the starting hand chart if there was a raise in front of you you can call with a small pocket pair according to the call20 rule.

      That means that in early position you are allowed to call if your opponent raises, but are not allowed to enter if there was no raise. Why is that? Isn't it worse to call in early position after a raise then it is without a raise?
  • 4 replies
    • Wurble
      Wurble
      Silver
      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      The charts are just a guide for new players more than anything... If you think you can play them profitably then that's up to you. The reasoning with the call20 rule is that if your opponent stacks off and you've hit a set you're getting paid. If you raise 44 utg though and get a couple of callers then hit nothing which is what will happen more often than not what will you do? And when you hit your set as the pre flop aggressor, how often do you think you'll be paid off? Do you think it will be enough to cover all the times you missed and had to fold?

      I wouldn't play low pp's from early position unless your post flop game is good. Do you play FR or SH? I play all pp's utg in SH games but that is the equivelant of mp in FR games - I'm not sure that I would want to open 22-66 with 8 people to act after me, you're more often than not gonna walk straight in to a better hand. If however, utg raises and you call utg +1 with 22-66 and hit your set utg's range is so strong that you have a good chance of getting a full stack off him.
    • patszerdonk
      patszerdonk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2011 Posts: 834
      and remember that you need a stronger hand to call a raise than open raising
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by YuvalW
      According to the starting hand chart if there was a raise in front of you you can call with a small pocket pair according to the call20 rule.

      That means that in early position you are allowed to call if your opponent raises, but are not allowed to enter if there was no raise. Why is that? Isn't it worse to call in early position after a raise then it is without a raise?

      1st of all, the chart is obviously a simplification... You can't really squeeze all you need to know on good preflop play in a single page... Too many things to consider - exact positions (not just early, middle etc.), your opponents' style, the stacks involved...

      The general idea of it is to provide a way of playing that is +EV and solid... even if the optimal EV is higher, reaching it requires playing more situations skillfully in order to not achieve worse results... The chart is supposed to protect the beginner while he adjusts to the game.


      The simplification you are referring to is probably due to a couple of simple facts:
      If someone raise and you call, you know you have the implied odds if you follow the call 20 rule... If you raise, who's going to call? how many players on the table even have that stack?

      That's one thing, another is, the odds of being 3bet when in early position is higher than in any other position (more players to act after you), and when the previous UTG has raised and you call, there is 1 less player to act than if you were UTG (and not UTG + 1).

      Finally since in order to get paid you need both to hit AND the opponent will need to hit something too, when you KNOW you have at least one opponent and have other potentials, your implied odds are actually higher quite often, which is important... (set mining likes multi way pots).



      To counter all that, the level of play in the micro stakes is generally low enough to be able to play these pairs quite profitably from EP open raise too, and you may decide to do that after you've gained some confidence in your post flop edge over the competition.


      Digging at pros' articles/forums/videos etc. I gleaned that technically, over the long run, if you play low pocket pairs from early position regularly and are break even or showing a very small loss, you've done your job as the added pairs to the very tight EP range makes you much harder to read and gets your other hands more profitable.
      But that seems to only matter in limits where the opponents actually pay attention to everything you do... which is not the case in the micro stakes. At least not on 0.01/0.02


      Hope that partially helps (it's a big topic...)
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by patszerdonk
      and remember that you need a stronger hand to call a raise than open raising
      Heh actually this whole thread is about an exception to this rule patszerdonk... as he mentioned the starting hands chart issue which suggests calling with certain hands but not raising with them (which superficially contradicts that principle...
      as if a hand is a call according to it it should also be an easy open raise. However, With hands that like multi way pots and implied odds, it is sometimes not the case (especially from EP when you have very little fold equity to back up the open raise)