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Small open-raising on the button when stealing? Idea and argument

    • eXtremeACE
      Joined: 22.02.2011 Posts: 267
      Okay, so it's like standard tendency nowadays to like 2.5bb's on the button when trying to steal.. The idea is that we could open a slightly increased range of hands and therefore generate more profit when we have tighter guys in the blinds..

      Okay, sounds rational..

      But just recently I heard one argument against doing it, and I want to hear your opinion..

      It goes that, we actually do ourselves worse by doing that.. The idea is that if the guy in the blinds decides to play against us and we end up postflop, ie he 3bets us and we call it. Villain could then just bet bigger % of the pot that he would usually do across the/all street(s), thus create a worse pot odds for us and the interesting thing is - guess who'll do the most of folding then, it's us because we started off with a wider and therefore weaker range..

      In the scenario above, let's say we 2.5bb's it, he 3bets us to 7.5bb's and we ends up postflop with a 15bb's pot size.. So if he was to bet 1/2 of the pot when faced with usual stealing size of 3bb, he could now bet bigger like 70-80% of the pot and then he will put pressure on our weaker range to begin with.. And then the coach's argument is, is it better to save 0.5bb's preflop (ie, if we were to steal with tighter range with 3bb's preflop) or to lose 7bb's+ postlop..

      But wait, one thing doesn't click for me.. If he was to 3bet us, we obviously wouldn't continue with 100% of our wider to begin stealing range (with 2.5BB).. We might call it with top 30% or 20% of our range and then our range actually isn't bad at all and could sustain his higher betting size postflop and doesn't necessary mean we'll do most of the folding postflop.. And all the other time when villain doesn't 3bets us, we'd pick up the dead money with hands we would usually fold if we were only to open-raise to 3bb's..

      But I don't get it, I watched it in one episode on the DeucesCracked, and one guy mentioned it to KRANTZ and he was like - alright, that makes sense, yeah it's better to 3bb's it preflop then.. But it doesn't makes sense to me, could anyone tell me where my thinking is flawed?

  • 3 replies
    • metza
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Not sure what exactly you're getting at here.

      If opponent 3bets us, his 3bet will usually be bigger vs a 3x raise than a 2.5x raise so its going to be bigger postflop.

      Regardless of our raise size, our defending range should be constructed based on villains range. If villain is 3betting more often vs our 2.5x raising range, we are then able to defend wider because his 3bet range is wider.

      In general, 2.5x allows us to open wider because the risk/reward ratio is lower. IF and only if, opponent adjusts by 3betting us wider, then we can readjust by defending wider. What I think you're saying is villain can get away with betting bigger and risking the same amount of bb. However, if his range for doing this is the same, our defending range shouldn't change much, the only difference is worse pot odds on the flop, but if opponent is 3betting the exact same range as he is vs our 3x raises then this should be mitigated by the extra blinds stolen.
      When we flat his 3bet our initial raise is dead money so say he 3bets to 8bb after we raise 2.5x, we are calling 5.5 into 10.5 so we only need to win about 1/3 of the time after flat calling.

      Remember that the steal success ratio advantage on the button is pretty hard to be negated by 3betting, if we only need our raise to work 62.5% of the time then this means opponent will only negate our raise as +EV if their combined 3bet is 38%. And a 19% 3bet range is very weak and hard to play OOP. We can probably fold to every 3bet most players make and still show a profit 3xing, but of course there are many hands that are +EV to defend vs a wide 3betting range IP.
    • adasko99
      Joined: 13.02.2011 Posts: 2,120
      many people just minraise the BTN these days. I raise x2.1 - so no one gets my minraising statistics in their HUD :f_cool:

      in deepstack tournaments, open minraising any position a lot is good for creating a loose image :f_biggrin:
    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,504
      It seems to me that min-raise BTN is not a steal tactic, but an attempt to get to play post-flop, where presumably we can generate more value than we could get merely by stealing.

      If it encourages weaker players to call wider, then our goal is accomplished, and we are now post-flop, in position vs a weaker player.

      If we DON'T have the skills we need post-flop, then perhaps a 2.5x or 3x raise would be better. However raise/folding pre then merely costs us more.

      Whatever the BTN open-raise size, people are still going to play roughly the same ranges, it seems to me.

      Some good thought-provoking here.