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Before the Flop - The Basics
IntroductionIn this article
- How and when to enter a hand
- How to evaluate your hand pre-flop
- What awaits you after the flop
At the start of each No-Limit round, you receive two playing cards, your so called hole cards. Each round it will be up to you to decide, based on these two cards, your opponents, as well as your position and image at the table if and how you want to enter the hand. This article covers the different factors that can influence this decision and how you can evaluate your hand pre-flop.
The difference between Full-Ring and Short-Handed
When looking at the two variants of full-ring and short-handed, there are quite a few differences. Most of these differences manifest themselves in the pre-flop play where the relative strength of the various starting hands differs greatly.
In the FR game, you play against eight or nine opposing hands, while in the SH game you only play against five. Accordingly, a good hand in an SH game is worth considerably more, as you are, on average, more often ahead and have better equity.
Furthermore, you find tighter and more passive players at the FR game. The SH game is considerably more dynamic, and many players adjust to this. This means you have to assume that much weaker hands, or speculative ones, will be raised more often than in a FR game.
Especially when it comes to spots such as 3-bets and pre-flop all-ins, a rather big difference can be noticed: while a 3-bet in full-ring from a seemingly regular player usually implies a good hand, it doesn't mean much in the SH game.
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