Do you raise AT and KJ (or 77,88) in middle position on a tighter table? Or AQ from early?

It's always possible to deviate from starting hand charts since they are based on average circumstances. Since these circumstances can change strongly under specific situations it is sometimes more profitable if we adapt to these changes.
However I want to point out that the starting hand charts provide us a range which has an equity against the possible hands behind us. So, if we deviate we need good reasons (which compensate for the loss of equity against hands behind us).

When can we deviate?

- the later our position the more we can deviate
- the better our pre/postflop skills are the more we can deviate
- the tighter/weaker opponents behind us are the more we can deviate
- we can also deviate in order to play ( mostly to isolate) against bad players
- of coures our table image is important

To answer the question:

AT and KJ: I prefer to raise them starting with MP3 if BU and CO (and the blinds maybe) are weak or tight. So I will often be uncontested or at least will only get a call so I still have postflop value. Of course it's most important that we have position postflop (this is more likely when BU and Co are tight). If you want to deviate then first think of how likely you will be in position since you will be able to play a much bigger range profitable than OOP. In addition you can select the hands between unsuited and suited.

77 and 88: 88 I play sometimes starting with MP2. In MP3 I usually play 77 and 88 - unless there are some loose/aggressive players IP behind me. You see that we should sometimes also consider getting tighter if we are facing strong or unpleasant opponents.

AQ from early: Don't like it. If you consider the things I said about when to deviate we have a problem here: we will be OOP very often. Even as a shortstack this is a serious problem. Sometimes I play AQs form UTG2 or UTG1 since its has a better playability. But then again I don't like to have loose opponents behind me.

My advice: only start to deviate from the starting hands chart if you gathered enough experience and enough postflop skills. If you want to start deviating then begin to loosen up your range on the BU and CO.
Then you will face enough new situations.
To be looser in late MP or middle MP you should know what you're doing and how to react if you get called/raised.
Loosenig up in early position is not very profitable imo.

Sample Hands:

Known players: (for a description of vp$ip, pfr, ats, folded bb, af, wts, wsd or hands click here)      

1/2 No-Limit Hold'em (10 handed)
Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grabem 1.9 by

Preflop: Hero is UTG+1 with 4:club: , 4:diamond:
UTG calls $2.00, Hero calls $2.00, 6 folds, SB calls $1.00, BB checks.

Flop: ($8.00) 6:spade: , 4:spade: , K:heart: (4 players)
SB checks, BB bets $15.77 (All-In), UTG calls $15.77, Hero raises to $83.46 (All-In), SB folds, UTG calls $67.69.

Turn: ($190.69) J:club:
River: ($190.69) 6:heart:

Final Pot: $190.69

Here's another possibility to deviate from the standard strategy:
If I have doubled up to 40BB+ I start playing low pps, too. Here I decided to limp in early position. This is possible since we have much more implieds. But be careful: even though we have doubled up we still can't call a raise according to the call 15 rule. So ist good to have passive players behind you. Also thinking players will get curious what you as a SSSP do when you limp. What we're doing is very obvious for good players. So we haven't got much implieds against them if we c/r a K25 flop all-in. They will be able to fold AK there.

Known players: (for a description of vp$ip, pfr, ats, folded bb, af, wts, wsd or hands click here)     

1/2 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)
Hand recorder used for this poker hand: Texas Grabem 1.9 by

Preflop: Hero is MP3 with A:heart: , J:heart:
3 folds, MP1 calls $2.00, MP2 folds, Hero raises to $10.00, 4 folds, MP1 calls $10.00.

Flop: ($23.00) 4:club: , A:spade: , K:spade: (3 players)
MP1 bets $12, Hero raises to $53.00 (All-In), MP1 calls $39.00.

Its also possible to deviate when we want to isolate bad players. In this hand a very loose player limps in MP1. Considering his 10 pfr an open limp in MP does not really convey strenght, too. If we now have no unpleasant opponents IP behind us we can easily raise AJs here. With a bigger stack I also prefer to get looser since we have more implieds (but many other SSSPs prefer to stay tight with a bigger stack since then they will of course face difficult postflop situations more often.
In this case we have no hard time. A donkbet seldomly is a strong hand. Our opponent could bet Ax here or a flush draw and many other hands. AQ and Ak can almost be eliminated in his range since a 10 pfr player will usually open raise these hands in MP. Thats why in average we only are behind against A4 or 44 (K4 is even for this MP1 a bit loose :tongue: )