I normally play very agressive preflop and will rarely limp, but I ahve been thinking, I am likely preventing loose players from playing hands I dominate. My raising I only allow them to play better hands, not to mention that a bigger pot makes it harder to read players. I remember Sklansky saying to keep the pot small because it is easier to play that way. how much do you lose by not raising hands such as AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ and their suited counterparts?
i dont know and i'm not much interested in the science of how much you loose by just limping with quality starting hands
i know its bad to hold such a hand and give the blinds a free ride - i know when i over limp that its bad to not charge my opponent who very likely has a worse hand extra to see a flop - i know that your wrong to assume that your opponents wont play some crap like A6o, K10o, or even 62s because you raised
screw sklansky - short handed is war and the limpers are the first to die i reckon
I don't think David was referring to short-handed when he advised keeping the pot small. Unless you are in a 6-max with everyone routinely seeing the flop even after a raise, I don't think that advice applies.
Also, there are so many shorthanded players that will call a raise with crap anyway, that I don't think you really have much of a problem most of the time. I am going to raise KQ in a shorthanded game near 100% of the time in almost any game, but I might not be as apt to raise with something like A9s or KTo as I was before if I thought I was starting to get into some bad situations by raising.
Now, let's say you have position on them. Why not make them pay 2 bets to see a flop with their crap. They're already half in, so they aren't folding now. And because your cards are better than theirs, you're going to win more than your share of pots against them -- so why not get more money into the pot?
Me and Naphand had a discussion on this awhile ago, and I will admit there are merits to limping -- though I prefer raising more than limping. Additionally, if the poor players have position on you, and you don't think they'll call two cold with their crap, then that might be reason to limp -- just to keep them in the hand...
Anyway, if you haven't read theLoose Games post yet I'd highly recommend going through it.
This is far more game-dependent than you might suppose IMO.
The more aggressive the game, and the more likely the blinds are to fold to a raise (or others for that matter) the more important it is to raise. In a loose and weak SH game, where the blinds nearly always defend and you are regularly seeing 3-5 to the flop even with a raise, limping becomes more correct, especially post-flop, as a raise with 4-5 callers justifies the calls on the flop by players holding 2nd/3rd pair. That said, raising should be the preferred play, limping is less of a mistake but should not be a standard play with these hands.
I would say, raise the suited cards in LP regardless of the number in, as they play well multiway and have enough high-card strength to win either-paired. In early position you need to be raising first in with anything playable, for sure. OTB against blinds that will not fold to a raise, you can consider a limp, but bet out on the flop regardless.
Offsuit hands need to be raised first in, and played very carefully post-flop multiway, you need the flop to work for you. With weak limper/s in front of you, you should also raise but be careful with KQo and KJo against any player with reasonable standards. With 1 or 2 limpers in front of me, holding KJo, I may limp/fold if the blinds are not folding to a raise. Catch a good flop and the players holding KT and worse, will pay you off plenty, but its not a great hand multiway. Even in the weak games, a raise in front of you means your KJo is in trouble, and KQo is likely dominated. But if a player raises any suited A, hands like KTo and JTo, and low pairs then you can call, and hope for a friendly flop.
For the suited versions, the better hands should be raised, but you could consider a limp with KJs, as this will give you options to draw against others multiway, in this case IMO, weak A will call your TP (esp. if it is a J) to the River with their overcard, as will the likes of J5 and K9 etc. A raise PF may give them the odds to call on the flop, and you need the right flop. If you do find yourself beaten by Axs for the flush, they weren't folding that to a raise anyway, and KQ to your KJ is not very likely (and wont fold to a raise). KJ is not strong enough to win unimproved, but if you hit the flop you wont get drawn out very often, and will get paid off every time by Jx or Kx. Catch 2-pair and you will seriously hurt players drawing to an inside straight, or who catch their (weaker) kicker on the Turn/River and raise you. Be very careful with a flop like KTx or QJx though; lots of ways to lose.
Position and the player are very important. If you see a player calling a raise with trash, or if you see him only playing *better* cards to a raise; you have choices about what to do and a good idea of the result. With position, you can manipulate which players stay in and for how much. Of course you have not seen the flop yet, but if you know you can outplay these guys it is not a big concern. If there are a only 2-3 players likely to see the flop, raising won't make the pot big enough to give them odds to draw (except with the best draws) so it's not an issue. With hands that don't play so well multiway (so you need to hit the flop hard), a couple of limpers in front of you and the blinds not likely to fold to your raise, a limp may be preferable as you can outplay them from the flop when you do hit, and the smaller multiway pot still makes their calls with weak draws a mistake.
One thing I would like an opinion from the other posters is, how do you play to a raise? Do you consider that re-raising is preferable to a call? or is calling not such a crime as limping?
Quote: Obviously when you have a really strong starting hand its an easy decision to re-raise, esp. against a loose player raising too frequently.
Would you say that the main purpose of a re-raise is to get heads up? and/or perhaps also to take advantage of a weak player trapped between you and the original raiser (who has called the raise)?
yes and yes
i dont reraise with the specific purpose of getting heads up - say you have AJo and there is a limp and a raise to you on the button - its auto to 3 bet (or fold depending on your view of the other players) - you dont want the blinds to play unless they pay too much to do so and although you dont have a very strong hand, if the limper calls its likely that you are getting value for your 3 bet from the money in the pot (you are probably in front of the limper and if not in front of the raiser you may not be too far behind and you have posistion and tempo) - if the blinds and the limper fold then you are getting almost 2 to 1 for your raise - i think of it as some protection against the chance the raiser has a good hand like AKo - ring game players would be horrified at 3 betting AJo before the blinds but in the 6 max games at party i would guess i am 50/50 between fold or 3 bet with such a hand, given the garbage that many will raise with - calling seems wrong to me unless your hand has some drawing potential such that extra customers arent bad
Yes of course - I should have also included *knocking out the blinds*.
Putting it in terms of *return* on the raise helps to show the raise in a context of value, and not just for control/reduce your opponents. It's easy just to see raising as a *brute force* method of getting money in and opponents out, but there are subleties and reasons that extend beyond this and your reply makes this very clear.
Hey, you lose a ton by limping with your premium hands. A ton. People are going to be calling anyway, and if they don't, who cares. You will never have a problem with "not enough action" at these limits. If you limp with hands(especially unsuited big cards) because you want action, you will cost yourself money A) by letting yourself get sucked out on far more often and B) not charging awful players who are just going to play K8, K9, A5-A9 for a raise anyways. Also you are in control of the hand, which means a lot shorthanded. I pick up a lot of pots where I miss the flop simply because I raised before it.
You also lose a fair amount because any hand besides a pair is going to be a drawing hand against multiple opponents, so driving out people(even if they would have come in with T3o) is effective, because your AKo can't beat the T3o if he catches and you don't. Now a pot you would have one goes to some moron because you wanted "action". -James