AK and QQ preflop on lower stakes

    • Zeffke
      Zeffke
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.04.2007 Posts: 1,123
      Hi,

      I'm currently playing more and more again (NLHE SH) but I'm wondering about how to optimize play with QQ and AK preflop. From what I see now, I think it isn't the best thing to bet / 3-bet / 4-bet / and shove it allin preflop with QQ or AK. I have a feeling there aren't a lot of people going broke preflop with a much worse range then AK, KK, AA so why stick it in with QQ or AK?

      So my question is what are the best options to maximize your winnings with QQ and/or AK on the lower limits?

      My standards are:
      1) call raises IP with AK, QQ and shove over squeezes of loose players
      2) 3-bet OOP and go broke vs late position raisers
      3) call OOP vs early raisers
      4) raise/4-bet broke OOP
      4) raise/call 3bets IP (don't like it, because you never have an idea where you are in the hand postflop, luckily you are IP to keep the pots small)

      Anyone has some nice guidelines? Happy to hear about it...
  • 12 replies
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Look at player type and not at positions when deciding what actions you take with your hands. If someone calls worse and only 4bets better you can still have a profitable 3bet with those hands. It's wrong to assume all microstakes players are positionally aware. You clearly know different ways to play the hands correctly but are not looking at the right circumstances.

      For example, if a fish opens and you only have nits behind, it is wrong to flat and shove over squeeze. It's better to 3bet and get it HU with the fish.

      It's all about ranges. You are correct that most regs don't stack off with less than QQ/AK pre but you can always give them a reason to do so: 3bet lighter, abuse the fact that they open too loose and fold to too many 3bets.

      If they fold to 3bets, create a polarised range. If they start calling OOP, depolarise and value town them postflop.
    • Zeffke
      Zeffke
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.04.2007 Posts: 1,123
      Tnx for the reply. I forgot to mention though that I was talking about playing against solid players, I have no difficulty at all too jam it in against maniacs or fishes either pre- or postflop.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Originally posted by Zeffke
      Tnx for the reply. I forgot to mention though that I was talking about playing against solid players, I have no difficulty at all too jam it in against maniacs or fishes either pre- or postflop.
      Against solid players for the micros you have to just start 3betting some hands and adjust. If he calls a lot you should depolarise and 3bet for value a lot of high pairs and high cards. If he folds a lot, 3bet what is too weak to call but good enough to "bluff" (K8s, Q9s, T8s, etc). If he 4bets a lot you should choose a range that does well against a player that has 4bet and fold range. Best hands equity wise against a usual stack off range of such a player are pairs and Axs, apart from the premiums ofc. I mean hands you shove for the dead money he puts in by 4bet bluffing but still have OK equity if called.

      It's all rock/paper/scissors with ranges! :f_biggrin:
    • doctorkgb
      doctorkgb
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,263
      @EmanuelC16

      Best 3bet digest I've ever read.

      Thnx
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      I'd like to add that there's nothing wrong with 3bet/folding AK against many specific player types on the micro's. There are players that will call 3-bet way to lose, but 4bet only KK+ so its easy 3bet for value and fold to a shove if he basically tells you he has the nuts.

      As a general rule you should not be getting it in with AK against a guy with less then 2% 4bet. When you get it in with AK your almost never ahead unless he somehow has AQ in his stackoff range which is very rare. Most of the value from 3bet/shoving AK comes from him 4bet bluffing then folding to a shove in which case you take down 20-25bbs with no showdown. And the guy with 2% or lower 4bet just doesn't have any bluffs in his range unless its sb vs bb.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      It's hard to tell what a 4bet range someone has without many hands on them. We can start a whole discussion how stats show only average and not what opponent does to adjust against each player. That would be besides the point here though.

      Look at his sizing! If it's too big (anything over 2.2x the 3bet looks big to me) I assume he doesn't have bluffs because his sizing wouldn't allow for +EV bluffs. If he proves me wrong later, just adjust and shove lighter than initially planned for value.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Originally posted by EmanuelC16
      It's hard to tell what a 4bet range someone has without many hands on them. We can start a whole discussion how stats show only average and not what opponent does to adjust against each player. That would be besides the point here though.

      Look at his sizing! If it's too big (anything over 2.2x the 3bet looks big to me) I assume he doesn't have bluffs because his sizing wouldn't allow for +EV bluffs. If he proves me wrong later, just adjust and shove lighter than initially planned for value.
      Yeah you indeed need at least 2k hands to get somewhat accurate 4bet sample so thats kind of a problem in micro's where the players pool is big. But you can help youself with his 3bet stats since if it is 5% his definitly not going crazy with 4bets and if he 3bets 15% then he very likely 4bets a ton as well.

      Assuming people on low and micro stakes adjust is just plain dumb. 99% of them will just keep on playing their cards no matter what you do or how you play. A nit with 5% 3bet and 1.8% 4bet that probably plays 20 tables is just incapable of adapting so you can feel safe to asume his 4bet is always the nuts unless proven otherwise.

      I had some crazy sizings that people were capable of folding to a shove. Just yesterday a guy min5bet me to 60bb and folded to a shove being 100bb deep. I've also gotten folds when people 4bet 3x and are cleary commited with pretty much anything and yet they somehow find a fold.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      There always are exceptions which is why I said that's my initial reaction and read.


      Assuming people on low and micro stakes adjust is just plain dumb.


      You are wrong here. They adjust! Adjusting doesn't mean starting to play perfectly vs you and your range. It means changing something based on how they have seen you. If they start tilt shoving they think it's an adjustment to stop you from pushing them around. It's a completely wrong adjustment but an adjustment nonetheless.
    • MatejM47
      MatejM47
      Black
      Joined: 21.01.2010 Posts: 1,193
      Originally posted by EmanuelC16
      There always are exceptions which is why I said that's my initial reaction and read.


      Assuming people on low and micro stakes adjust is just plain dumb.


      You are wrong here. They adjust! Adjusting doesn't mean starting to play perfectly vs you and your range. It means changing something based on how they have seen you. If they start tilt shoving they think it's an adjustment to stop you from pushing them around. It's a completely wrong adjustment but an adjustment nonetheless.
      No they don't. Not the nits. A fish adapts, a bad agro reg adapts but nits just keep on nitting it up. I actually have a nit in my game that folds to 3bet 86% of the time over 10k hands and im 3betting him like 60% and guess what, he still folds everytime he doesn't have TT+ AK which i guess its his range. And a lot of those nits also plays way to many tables so they don't even notice you 3bet them 50 times in a row.

      And in case they do adjust their stats will show that anway.
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Originally posted by MatejM47
      Originally posted by EmanuelC16
      There always are exceptions which is why I said that's my initial reaction and read.


      Assuming people on low and micro stakes adjust is just plain dumb.


      You are wrong here. They adjust! Adjusting doesn't mean starting to play perfectly vs you and your range. It means changing something based on how they have seen you. If they start tilt shoving they think it's an adjustment to stop you from pushing them around. It's a completely wrong adjustment but an adjustment nonetheless.
      No they don't. Not the nits. A fish adapts, a bad agro reg adapts but nits just keep on nitting it up. I actually have a nit in my game that folds to 3bet 86% of the time over 10k hands and im 3betting him like 60% and guess what, he still folds everytime he doesn't have TT+ AK which i guess its his range. And a lot of those nits also plays way to many tables so they don't even notice you 3bet them 50 times in a row.

      And in case they do adjust their stats will show that anway.
      Again: general and exception. You have a part of a type of players that don't adjust. The vast majority of players do adjust, aka change their ranges if they feel like you or the whole game are forcing them to do so. For example, if you 3bet him a lot and all the other players that play vs him 3bet him with QQ+ only, he doesn't feel he should adjust. Make everyone 3bet him 15% but one player at all his tables and he will be likely to widen his range against that other total nit that just made his 1st lifetime 3bet. :f_biggrin:

      Btw, if you have 2k hands showing something about a player, how many hands do you need to decide if he has changed something to his game? Think about it... :)
    • Zeffke
      Zeffke
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.04.2007 Posts: 1,123
      interesting input of all of you guys.

      tyvm
    • Castle93
      Castle93
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.06.2011 Posts: 1,452
      I havnt really read what everyones put so sorry if im repeating this but id just like to point out where yu said about calling a 3 bet IP with AK you have to ask yourself a few things, if your that worried villain has KK+ and thats why yu dont wanna 4 bet but keep the pot small, just fold it pre thats what veriz said to me anyways when i called a 3 bet IP. You can easily just call with QQ and AK just like you said or ISO 3 bet, and 3 bet for value against LP raiser so i like the rest alot. I also generally play 3 bet/ fold against 100BB stacks with AK and QQ because your rarely in good shape when they 4 bet, but yu can play 4 bet/broke at the same time