KQs, 99, 88 Middle Position

    • Navrark
      Joined: 27.01.2010 Posts: 313

      I have several different Starting Hands Charts that I have printed out since I have been playing Poker, and one thing I have found is that the majority of them are much different than PokerStrategy's Chart.

      Two charts that I have next to me now say to Raise with these hands in Middle Position:

      99, 88, KQs, 77, 66, 55.

      I have looked at some of the numbers myself thanks to software that I have, and I believe that KJs is also a very good hand.

      Now, I know that raising with 99, 88, 77, 66, 55 in the middle position can be difficult because if you are called, you aren't really sure where you stand. If you are called by one opponent you may be the only one with a pair. If you are called by two+ opponents and you don't have a set, you are likely beaten. Still, you are in danger of this by raising with these hands from the late position, just that the danger is reduced slightly.

      With KQs and KJs you can manage to be out-kicked in rare but painful circumstances. But again this will occassionally happen in late position raising with these hands.

      Anyway, the point of all of this is the question of what's the best way to play? For a brand new player, tight is right, but after we've been playing for a little while we ought to open up some more in order to prevent ourselves looking predictable. Also, the reality with Cash Games is that they are populated by Nits. If the majority of opponents are tight players, isn't it best for us to raise with more hands in the middle, even early positions?

      Forgive me if the Silver+ articles tell us to play more hands. I don't have access obviously. But even for NL2 with so many tight players, I just think we are crimping our profits not raising more. Maybe I am wrong...

  • 1 reply
    • Fagin
      Joined: 06.05.2008 Posts: 544
      Hi Nav,

      my understanding of the starting hands charts is that they are there as general guidelines only. For a beginning player they provide a good guide as to what hands can "Profitably" be played from different positions. They are also designed to help beginning players avoid difficult or tricky post-flop decisions particularly at the lower limits.

      As players get more experience at pre and post flop play then they can, and probably should, deviate from rigidly following the charts because as they move up the limits their play will otherwise become too predictable to the better players they will encounter.

      In all areas experience and ability should be the primary guide as to how to play. My own stats from the lower limits (NL2/NL5/NL10) on 888 show most players there to be quite loose and against them tight play is rewarded.

      Hope this helps.

      GL at the tables whatever style you decide to play.