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Playing Big Blind vs Small Blind

    • DaPhunk
      Joined: 01.03.2008 Posts: 2,805
      Hello, I'm posting this here because I think It will get the best feedback. I am handwriting myself a small poker book as a learning tool and thought it might be fun to post a small article I just put in it. Comments appreciated especially if the correct an error I've made.

      Playing the Big Blind vs the Small Blind

      BB vs Opencomplete

      Firstly, if you don't see this situation often (and I guess don't play too high?) I'm going to go out on a limb and say you may not be table selecting well enough, but that's an aside.

      I think many people would advise raising ATC on BB vs an opencomplete, however I don't think that is suitable versus every single opponent. Lets break things down a little bit;

      1) Villains limp/call. If you raise to 3bb you risk 2bb to win 2bb so if he calls under 50% you are making a profit in a vacuum. This is your first useful benchmark.

      2) When villain calls "too much" consider his fold to cbet. Again if you raise to 3bb preflop and cbet 50%flop you risk 5bb to win 4bb. If he folds over 55.5% on the flop you profit with ATC (assuming he calls pre 100%). This changes though. Consider cbetting 5bb into 6 on the flop... suddenly you need almost 65% flop folds to make ATC profitable preflop.

      Our second "line in the sand" as it where is going to be this 55.5% to 65% ish villain fold to cbet below which we can start cutting hands out of our range. I probably drop to a 65% range pretty soon and slowly remove the worst hands which I'll just use to stab unraised pots with instead.

      3) As Poker doesn't end on the flop we do need to consider turn and river fold ranges if we have the info but it needn't be said the lower they are the more we will be wanting to play for value.

      4) When we face a player who doesn't fold we will weight our range towards value .... which means we want to win bigger pots at showdown. We can start raising more preflop, cbetting more and maybe even raise to different amounts when we know the villain won't notice. He is after all, opencompleting SB.

      Note - The hands we raise when we want to bet villain out postflop should be weighted towards hands that flop nice draws or backdoors etc that will give us some nice barrel spots.

      BB vs a SB Open

      I'm going to skip the fluff and try to get this out quickly with a checklist;

      When a player opens SB you

      1) Check villains open% on SB not just his overall steal%

      2) Check his foldto3bet% and 4bet% to determine a 3betting range against him. Don't forget to check his fold to cbet in 3betpot% as this will have a big effect on which hands you will be wanting to 3bet against him.

      3) When we have a hand in our non3bet range we can consider our villains postflop barrelling frequencies. If he fires many triple barrels we shall obviously go more value heavy, if he fires 2 barrels and gives up river we will still want good equity hands, depends on how variance averse you happen to be.
      When we have a "1 and done" villain according to his stats we will start thinking of calling a wider range with decent equity possibilities to float him a lot.
      Similarly a low cbet% may indicate villain is cbetting value hands and may be giving up with the rest of his hands

      4) Final checks before proceeding: Don't forget to check what our villains fold cbet vs raise is, should we happen to have enough hands on him for this stat to have come in.
      Another stat we shouldn't ignore is villains WTSD% and is a piece missing from our villain who looks to give up on turn. Without saying too much a villain with a high cbet, low turn barrel but High WTSD is likely not going to be folding to your floats! That said he may not be putting as much pressure on your medium strength hands so its still nicer than a high barrel% villain.

      Final Note
      That's about it and I probably didn't need to "explain" things as much as I did. This article is not meant to be standalone otherwise it would have been much much longer. I assume we know in reading about hand / range selection for our postflop game-plan etc.

      Right, hope you enjoyed that. I didn't write it out exactly as I have in my book. I think I might have made it longer somehow lol. Anyway, good luck at the tables all!

      edit; I want to add something about how much villain has to fold flop given his preflop fold% to make ATC +ev but struggled a little with the math
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