Questions about preflop strategy and odds

    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,173
      Hi !

      Id like to ask a few question about the preflop strategy found in the articles of the FL section here.

      Ive studied the starting hand charts(SH mainly) of the silver and gold section, and I get the idea that the main organizing principle is pot/implied odds here. But thats also the reason why the ranges do not seem consistent to me.

      The articles say that you need less equity from the blinds (43% from SB and 35% from BB)to call because theres already money in the pot. Thats why you call hands like 54s against MP2. But then it seems to me that in other positions pot equity doesnt matter that much. For example couldnt you call with the same range two or more loose limpers from the button ? You get a better position and the same odds, and the opponents ranges are weaker. You could say that one should isolate the limpers if he has equity edge, but I dont think that weak speculative hands are good for a raise in a situation like this(you dont raise em in blind defense also), also I dont think its a good idea exclude weak blinds when you go for a straight or flush as in most cases they pay you off with weaker hands also. On the other hand I dont feel that hands like 98s are good for a fold.

      Still according to the silver charts you have to call a strong MP2 open raise range 98s out of position, but cant call two weak ranges for the same odds in position, not to mention that more players can build a bigger pot.


      In the fullring approx chart, you can find a table (marked with (4) ) what describes the odds you need to call with certain hand group like PPs SCs etc.. I like the idea to build you preflop strategy based upon this,becasue such rules are more easy to remember than a card matrix which you dont understand, how its built up etc..just memorize it without any further thought. Couldnt you use this table somehow as a general rule of your preflop stategy for calling ?

      And another thing I'd like to know about this table that how was it calculated ? It is pretty unbelievable to me that you could call with any suited card, or any offsuited connector when the odds are 5,5:1. I mean I would fold 72s or 32o even if I get that odds. Also do you really get the flush draw in at least one out seven times ?
  • 9 replies
    • Avataren
      Avataren
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.04.2010 Posts: 1,743
      good questions. most if not all i can't answer so i won't even try. I'll let someone more competent answer you on this :)
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,711
      @kavbod84 I haven't read your post thoroughly because I'm playing.

      It seems, however, that you miss that your posted blind counts towards the cost of calling or raising (unless you post a dead blind after sitting out). It should be obvious that the odds from the blinds are better than from other positions.

      EDIT: This is the article to read. http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/fixed-limit/50/1/

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,173
      Ive already read that article, read my post more thoroughly please
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,711
      I have read your post a little bit better now.

      These are good questions, and since you ask these questions, I think that you are much better off completely forgetting about those starting hand charts. Concentrate on reading the players at your table and the game flow.

      For instance, take that 98s on the button with two limpers. There are situations where overlimping is ok, but the big blind will get a free flop, and if your opponents are awake, they will know that you are playing a small pocket or small suited connectors. Raising it may be better. For one thing, unless you have donkers in front of you, they will check to you on the flop. Then again, if you play many raised 3-way pots with suited connectory type of hands, then you need to play very well post-flop. Do your opponents limp A + rag? You will need to know such things because 98s doesn't win on it's own merits (made hands) often enough. You must be able to bluff and semibluff. If your opponents donk (if they like limping, they may like donking too), then folding 98s is also an idea. You must be able to get free cards too.

      In the blinds versus one opponent things are much simpler. You pretty much must call with it because of the equity you have versus even a fairly tight range. You can play (using a little judgement) fit or fold on the flop. Whether you should semibluff or raise for value is another matter. Again, this is opponent dependent.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • datsmahname
      datsmahname
      Global
      Joined: 23.11.2009 Posts: 1,366
      Hi, I'm covering this topic tomorrow during the Silver Fixed Limit coaching: specifically calling open raises outside the big blind.

      First, while the amount of money from the blinds is the same our cost to see a flop is different outside the blinds when compared with in the blinds.

      Second, once we reach the required equity to call an open raise we're often at or beyond the equity required to 3-bet. 3-betting rather than calling provides us with certain benefits like getting the players behind to fold some hands that actually beat us OR simply having the initiative which gives us advantages postflop.

      Finally, while some hands can be played for a call simply having such a narrow calling range can provide our opponents with a lot of information. Having a face up hand range makes it difficult for us to profit.

      If you're interested in the topic I'll be discussing it in detail tomorrow along with several other topics.
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,173
      Hi !

      @datsmahname:

      Unfortunately I have just read your post so I missed the coaching. I guess you dont record em so that Id be able to watch it later, do you ?


      First, while the amount of money from the blinds is the same our cost to see a flop is different outside the blinds when compared with in the blinds.


      Yes exactly, playing from the blinds OOP is much more disadvantaged than playing from BU IP. Thats why I dont understand why is the strategy with the same odds much looser from the BB than from the BU.

      Second, once we reach the required equity to call an open raise we're often at or beyond the equity required to 3-bet.


      You could say that for a call from BB also, but it doesnt really matter, since I talked about a quite different thing, actually I talked about overlimping in the example, I dont really get it why you come up with calling an open raise. Anyway...what I say is that according to the silver stating hands chart you play a hand from the blind because of pot odds, while you dont play the same or better hands from the button for the same pot odds from a better position against weaker ranges. Thats the point.

      Finally, while some hands can be played for a call simply having such a narrow calling range can provide our opponents with a lot of information. Having a face up hand range makes it difficult for us to profit.


      Thats true, but what do you say about the cold calling range of the silver starting hand chart ? 22-88,JTs,KJs,QTs and thats it. Cold calling with speculative hands like 98s or J9s would just brighten this range. I dont say I cold call, I usually dont cold call, except special cases but if I would and cared about balancing then I would put a lot more hands in this range. But again, the topic is somewhat different. Lets say you have a raised pot, 87s and 7:1 form the BU on FR. Do you fold ?


      @YohaN7:

      For instance, take that 98s on the button with two limpers. There are situations where overlimping is ok, but the big blind will get a free flop, and if your opponents are awake, they will know that you are playing a small pocket or small suited connectors. Raising it may be better.


      You go for implied odds in these cases, which means raising is not OK cause you are behind but youll hit nuff times and youll be payed off good nuff to make a profitable call. Since folding is 0EV you must call. According to the approx chart, with a SC you get your flush draw or straight draw (IDK if its considered an OESD or a belly buster) in 3:1. And thats without implied. For set mining you have 7,5:1 wich is more than twice worse, still you can read in the articles that you should hop in for a set if you get 4:1 and have some implied odds. And if you make the flush or your straight its much less likely that you'll be overdrawn then with a set. When you have a set with a flush/straight draw on the board, then you have reverse implied with it, since you cant fold even if the flush comes down. Still you dont have something like a "flush or straight mining strategy" Do you get what I mean ?
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,711
      I said that raising 98s might be better, not that is always is. Niether limping with 98s nor raising with it is automatically profitable. This is the reason that is is outside the starting hand charts. My first choice is probably to overlimp. But if the blinds are tight I'll probably raise. If I'm losing (indicating that I don't play well that day), folding is the choice.

      It is true that you flop a draw quite often. You are still odds against making your hand. Then if you have opponents that will not all fold, all playability is gone. The reason is that semibluffing is not working. It is true that a draw can be played for value versus 3 or more opponents. But if you bet or raise on the flop, there is no guaratee that three or four come along. (The worst case being exactly one opponent that check-raises you.)

      Incidentally, with 3 or more limpers, the correct choice might still be to raise preflop. Reason: If you hit a draw you want MW action on the flop which is eased if the opponets have better pot odds. Note here that this reasoning is the exact opposite of the reasoning arguing that fold equity is increased by raising preflop. You want all to fold or all to come along.

      Given that you limp, then you must win the pot unimproved sometimes, or you need opponents that give you maximum action when you hit nuts (meaning a straight - few pay you the maximum with a flush on the board).

      If you want them to fold hands they shouldn't, then that mission is simpler if you raise it up preflop (and you win a bigger pot). If you want to draw cheaply, then raising again helps. If the opponents play well, then folding isn't bad. They aren't going to let you win unimproved or pay off the maximum.

      There is a difference between small pairs and suited connectors in this respect (equity). Small pairs can take on somewhat more aggressive opponents. Small pairs don't rely on seing the turn and river cards cheaply. Small suited connectors do because the equity is shifted towards five card made hands. You will flop gutshots a lot of the times.

      Reverse implied odds are present for suited connectors, especially if you hit a flush. There is also the idiot end of straights that you probably will pay off with.

      The 98s in the BB is very different. You have one opponent and hitting an 8 or a 9 might be enough to take the pot down. Hitting an 8 or a 9 vs 3 opponents is more like bad moon rising.

      I am not trying to convice you here about any particular play. I'm just trying to convince you that preflop equity and pot odds aren't everyting. [If they were, then folding 98s on the button is probably the best unless the starting hand charts really are incorrect.]

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • datsmahname
      datsmahname
      Global
      Joined: 23.11.2009 Posts: 1,366
      Hi again,

      There will certainly be more chances to examine this topic as part of one of our weekly coaching sessions.

      I was recently stranded offline for several days and so I cooked up some fancy study material for myself. Its possible that I'll decide to cover this as part of episode 2 of the Advanced FL podcast. Only time will tell!
    • kavboj84
      kavboj84
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2011 Posts: 2,173
      okay, I am interested in that, imma check the coaching tonight.