When not to raise 77-TT preflop early stg.?

    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      The title says it all!

      The reason I ask this is because on my current limit (1.50$ on PokerStars) I often get calls and with these mid pockets I often see overcards that often make me fold my hand even in 2way pots. I especially want to adress the question to the early and middle positions – perhaps it is better to fold most of these hands most of the time preflop?
  • 5 replies
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I think those should be clear winners if you raise from middle position. They are not automatic raises from every position. In low stakes games you might be able to open-limp with any pair profitably.

      If you get heads-up, say if the button flat-calls your raise, what range do you put your opponent on? How often will that miss a flop like Q:spade: 8:spade: 4:heart: ? If you assume your opponent must have top pair when any overcard comes, you are probably playing poorly postflop. If you play better postflop, then a few more hands will become profitable. However, a hand like 77 will still have an information disadvantage in most pots. You tend not to win big pots when your 77 unimproved is still ahead, and you will sometimes get bluffed out. You tend to lose larger pots than you win.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Let us say it is a rather wide range that includes broadways, small to medium pockets, Ax hands, perhaps suited connectors or sometimes even something trashier. Against such a range OOP on boards with overcards I often find myself very lost. For example, right now I am playing 1.50$ SNGs where my OOP c-bets work very rarely if ever at all: most of the time I get raised or called on the flop. Against raises it's relatively easy most of the time as I can just fold, whereas if I get called I often face a difficult decision as I don't know whether to second barrel, c/c or c/f.

      Of course, I assume that the best decision might not be to not play these against looser people at all. I would very much like to improve my postflop skill to a level at which I can play these hands profitably, however, without any real guidance it is very hard.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      You don't need continuation bets to succeed 50% of the time to show an immediate profit if your continuation bets are smaller than the pot.

      You say your continuation bets work very rarely. Is that what your frustration says, or your database? You should be much more hesitant to make continuation bets in multiway pots, but you should expect to make a large immediate profit when you cbet in a heads-up pot. Please look up the "cbet success vs. 1" stat. An immediate profit doesn't mean it is the best way to play each hand. Sometimes you should check to induce.

      If your opponents don't fold at all on the flop, this means they have a very weak range when they call or raise your continuation bets. You should not give up when there is one overcard because your hand is still a big favorite over your opponent's range. If they are floating a lot, then either fire a second barrel on the turn or check-call on the turn rather than check-folding.

      A HUD stat which might help is the percentage of the time the player bets when it is checked to them in a limped pot. Some players automatically bet. This means they will probably bet with many weak hands if you check to them in raised pots, too. Don't put them on top pair only and assume that you have 2 outs.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by Avatars91
      Let us say it is a rather wide range that includes broadways, small to medium pockets, Ax hands, perhaps suited connectors or sometimes even something trashier.
      One range like that has hit a pair or better 40% of the time on that Q:spade: 8:spade: 4:heart: flop: better than top pair 3%, top pair 15%, second pair or lower 22%. This includes times your opponent has a pocket pair like 55. About 6% of the time the player has a flush draw (possibly combined with a gutshot). If you have TT you are way ahead of even the hands which hit, and even more ahead if your opponents won't fold with no pair and no draw.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Thanks a lot for your advice! You've given me something to think about when I next sit at the tables.