Understanding Starting Hands Chart

    • andreibalint
      andreibalint
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      Hello. I have some small "issues" regarding the starting hand chart. Not that i'm smarter that the guy who made them but i just can't understand some moves.

      What could be the reason for folding AQ/AJ/AT if another player limped before you? I am playing NL 4 SH. Mostly limping is a trademark of a fish and i fold AQ because i'm scared he's got... what!??!

      Why would i raise from late position with the above hands if someone called and just call from the blinds? Since they are good hands isn't it better to maximize their value preflop?

      Why do i basically don't play offsuited face cards with a limper before me?


      Probably the best explanation i could find is to keep the pot small and have less variance. I am habitualy punishing any limping with face cards from late position and AT+ TT+ maybe 99 and 88 from middle position, while keeping the calling for suited connectors and small pocket pairs. I even punish min-raises with maybe AJ+ and TT+. I guess i sometimes did it even with KQ but not that often. I got enough folding that it seems profitable, but would they be more profitable played as they should?
  • 5 replies
    • michaelqian
      michaelqian
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.05.2009 Posts: 512
      These have been statistically analyzed and derived to give your the best way of making a long term profit.

      Not that I can give you any good explanations of why it works, but I can definitely if you play AQ from early position preflop everytime, it will definitely get you in trouble in a lot of cases, same with AJ, AT and any Ax hands, again same story with KQo and similar hands.
    • michaelqian
      michaelqian
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.05.2009 Posts: 512
      follow up on my previous post

      I do sometimes deviate from the chart myself. For example I tend to play suited connectors less than what the chart suggests, and I sometimes play AQ from middle position when someone has called in front of me. This is at NL2, so a lot of players are bad or loose.
    • AugustusCaesar
      AugustusCaesar
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2008 Posts: 377
      Originally posted by andreibalint
      What could be the reason for folding AQ/AJ/AT if another player limped before you? I am playing NL 4 SH. Mostly limping is a trademark of a fish and i fold AQ because i'm scared he's got... what!??!
      I believe the starting hands chart is adjusting for fullring play, if you play shorthanded of course the relative strength of hands grows (as i.e if you raise UTG, you only have 5 player who can have a better hand instead of 9)

      For me AQ is definitely a raise, sometimes even 3-bet, depends on the oponent who open-raised, same counts for AJ and maybe AT, definitely for pairs 88+, of course depending on position .. I like playing pockets in big pots in position
    • kosmonaut111
      kosmonaut111
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.01.2009 Posts: 715
      SHC is guideline from beginners. The idea of learning poker is to grow out from this chart and make your starting standard.
      There can be exceptions made from SHC - like raising all pairs from all positions. This is already FR

      You are playing SH, that means AQ, AJ are much stronger hands now. On SH you cannot play anymore according to SHC.
    • Dragar
      Dragar
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      Originally posted by andreibalint

      What could be the reason for folding AQ/AJ/AT if another player limped before you? I am playing NL 4 SH. Mostly limping is a trademark of a fish and i fold AQ because i'm scared he's got... what!??!

      Why would i raise from late position with the above hands if someone called and just call from the blinds? Since they are good hands isn't it better to maximize their value preflop?

      Why do i basically don't play offsuited face cards with a limper before me?


      Probably the best explanation i could find is to keep the pot small and have less variance. I am habitualy punishing any limping with face cards from late position and AT+ TT+ maybe 99 and 88 from middle position, while keeping the calling for suited connectors and small pocket pairs. I even punish min-raises with maybe AJ+ and TT+. I guess i sometimes did it even with KQ but not that often. I got enough folding that it seems profitable, but would they be more profitable played as they should?
      Ok SH is different..... you can isolate fish with so many hands... I raise with like A8o, suited connectors like 89s when I get limpers before me.
      Any PP even 22 is a raise vs a limper in SH if your IP.

      Position is your weapon against fish... your cards are secondary.

      The starting hand charts are made for FR not for SH.