Cold calling a raise

    • goldchess
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      Hi, I've been playing mainly SNGs, and trying out fixed limit now.

      In the extended starting hands chart there is no table for calling when one person has raised and everyone else has folded, unless we are in the big blind. I was wondering why this is the case? Do we just not want to play HU without the initiative?

  • 8 replies
    • bunjow
      Joined: 07.01.2010 Posts: 12
      Whoops, sorry. I just realized you knew what to do (using the 3-bet against a raise charts), but wondered why it is so. Edited my post to reflect this. Still learning myself

      Revised answer:

      I would just assume that raising to have the initiative Heads Up would be a BIG plus to take the pressure off you and apply more of it on him...
      Especially since you'll likely have position on him. He will be completely in the dark of what your possible hand strength could be.

    • bunjow
      Joined: 07.01.2010 Posts: 12
      Actually, now that I think a little more about your question...

      I see what you're getting at, there are hands marked for re-raising vs the raiser but there are no hands that we can call with...

      It's a good point. One would think that having position on the raiser would allow us to call with some equal or slightly inferior hands to his range, while at the same time using our superior hands for re-raising. Even without the added pot odds from callers.

      Beats me. Maybe there aren't enough marginal calling hands for this situation. So if we called with only a narrow range everytime, he would be able to read us like a book.

    • Dawnfall26
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116

      Most hands that you play have 50%+ edge against the openraiser, to play these is then more logical to 3bet them to exploit your value.
      Also, you have the chance to push out blind(creating dead money) and push some better hands out, which enables you to play some hands that have slightly worse equity.
      And....having initiative is never bad it can only be good

      Since these reasons cover 99% of all situations raise or fold is suggested as a standard move against 0-1 players already in the game.

      But there are exceptions( which I would not suggest you to follow them since you can make more mistakes by bad overcalls than just playing raise or fold 100%):

      -for example when you have a hand that plays well but does not have that good equity(like 87s,J9s,lower pockets) and BB is a very SD bound fish who will rarely fold to your 3bet or is a very bad postflop player and you dont want to kick him out by 3betting. said dont overdo these spots since most often its much better to raise than to call-
    • SalamiandCheese
      Joined: 16.07.2008 Posts: 569
      When just calling a raise in the BB, you're at a disadvantage because you are out of position and don't have the initiative. However, the pot odds when calling in the BB are favorable and make up for those disadvantages somewhat. Calling a raise in the SB is really tough because you are oop pre and post-flop.

      Like Dawnfall already pointed out, there are times when calling a raise is acceptable. This is ok from the button since u will have position post-flop. You really don't want to end up calling a 3bet behind you so you have to be aware of how the blinds will react before making that call.
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Dawnfall26 makes some great points. I'd like to emphasize that it is perfectly ok to 3-bet with a hand which has only 45% equity against the opener's range.

      When you 3-bet, you deprive the big blind of some profitable calls. That can increase the dead money which you split up. Taking the worst of it with some dead money may be better than folding. Sometimes both the original raiser and you will benefit when you 3-bet to knock the blinds out. The PFR would have liked to make a double raise in the first place, and needs your cooperation to make the blinds face 2 bets to call.

      Some hands also do much better in heads-up pots than in multiway pots. Low pocket pairs and offsuit aces with marginal kickers do badly in 3-way and 4-way pots. You might be even against the PFR, but behind if you let anther player in, even if the third player has a weaker range. (For example, 22 is slightly ahead of one random hand, but clearly behind two random hands. A7o is slightly ahead of a top 40% range, but behind in a 3-way pot against a top 40% range and a top 60% range.

      Your positional advantage, and the advantage of not limiting your range, mean that you don't need to have 50% hot-and-cold equity to be happy making the pot larger even if you somehow knew that the blinds would fold if you just called.

      Sometimes it can be right to cold-call. However, make sure you have considered both folding and 3-betting as alternatives, and in most games it is rare for cold-calling to be the best play. Cold-calling has been unpopular among serious players for many years, and books like Hold'em Poker For Advanced Players suggest that you should very rarely cold-call. When you see cold-calls, this is a great indication that the game is soft, even if you aren't yet sure whether the cold-callers should have folded or should have 3-bet.
    • goldchess
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      New question about the charts:

      When we are in the Big Blind, and there has been a raise and at least one call in front, which chart should we use? We have already invested one SB so it should be looser than the standard chart for this situation. Also I'm guessing it should be looser that the normal blind defence since we have slightly/hugely better odds depending on the amount of callers.

      Thanks, all your help is much appreciated
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I'm not familiar with the charts and the PokerStrategy LHE material yet, but I want to point out that it is a common mistake to believe that you can defend wider after several callers.

      Getting 9:1 odds sounds better than getting 3:1 odds, right? The problem is that you get 3:1 to try to beat one player, whereas you get 9:1 to try to beat 4 players. To beat 4 players, you need to have a better hand. In a heads-up pot, hitting one small pair on the flop gives you decent equity. In a 4-way pot, it does not. Your chance to flop 2 pair or better with an offsuit disconnected hand is about 3.5%.

      72o has about 34.6% equity against a random hand. That means if you put in $50, you get $34.60 back.

      72o has about 10.75% equity against 4 random hands. If you put in $50, you get about $26.88% back. So, even with no more betting, 72o does worse in a 5-way pot, where you might be getting 9:1 odds, than in a heads-up pot.
    • cjheigl
      Joined: 09.04.2006 Posts: 24,843
      I worked out a strategy using the bronze chart for the german forum. Floridachris made a chart out of it which you can use. I don't know how good google translator has got, so I present it here in english:

      The base of the strategy is the bronze chart: advanced play before the flop.

      How to play in the big blind after a raiser and at least one caller?

      This question divides up into two parts. The first is, which hands should be reraised? This is answered by the charts "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence" and "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you". If you find your hand in both charts you can reraise. The second question is which hands should you call? You call any hand you don't reraise which are listed in the charts "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you" in the column "3+ callers" or in the chart "Big Blind Defence – Call/Raise" or in the basic preflop chart.

      Example 1:

      UTG calls, 6 folds, BU raises, SB folds, Hero?

      In the chart "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you" you reraise one raiser and one caller with TT+, AJs+, AQo+. In the chart "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence" you can raise all these hands versus a Button raiser. So TT+, AJs+, AQo+ are the hands which should be reraised.

      Example 2:

      UTG raises, 6 folds, BU calls, SB folds, Hero?

      According to "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you" you reraise TT+, AJs+, AQo+. The chart "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence" contains only JJ+, AK though. So only JJ+, AK should be reraised.

      How do you play in the big blind if there is a raise and a reraise in front of you?

      You use the chart "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence". In this chart you read from the column that is 2 positions left of the first raiser. If this column would be left of UTG you only reraise the standard cap hands, that is QQ+, AK.

      Any hand you can't reraise is checked against the chart "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you" in the column for 1 raiser 1 caller. Hands in this column that are listed as reraise you should reraise only if they meet the conditions in the paragraph before. Otherwise you call.

      Example 3:

      MP2 raises, MP3 raises, 3 folds, Hero?

      2 columns left of MP2 you find UTG2. You use the column UTG2 in the chart "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence" and get TT+, AQs+, AKo to reraise. In the chart "Calling/Raising with raises and callers in front of you" you find you can call 55+, KQs, QJs, JTs. AJs and AQo are listed as reraise in this chart but you can only call these hands since they are not listed in the other chart.

      Example 4:

      UTG1 raises, BU raises, Hero?

      In the chart "3-Bet against a raise from these positions including small blind defence" 2 colums left of UTG1 there is - nothing. You are left of UTG. So can only reraise QQ+, AK. You call the same hands as in example 3.