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Old 12-24-2005, 12:51 PM
J.Copperthite J.Copperthite is offline
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Default Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

A gray area in my LO8 game has been how to play raised pots. I like to think my flop play is good so I am sometimes lenient in my hand selection in late position when I can limp in (3 wheel card hands, double suited pairs w/ 3-2 or 4-2 lows, etc.). However, I still don't know what kinds of hands I can call preflop in a raised pots. Are there any guidelines I can use for this?
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2005, 01:26 PM
Beavis68 Beavis68 is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

that answer is going to depend on how many other people are likely to play the pot with you
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Old 12-24-2005, 01:31 PM
J.Copperthite J.Copperthite is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

Figure the typical 3-5 players and the occasional heads-up pot
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:04 PM
benwood benwood is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

It depends on the raisers position & whether he is a solid or a loose raiser.It also depends on your position in relation to him & the table.His hand will often contain an A2,so the value of weaker low holdings decreases in value.If your hand also contains an A2,there's an increased chance of getting quartered.If you hold AA & the raiser is to your right,it's important to 3-bet & thin the field.
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2005, 10:20 PM
Buzz Buzz is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

[ QUOTE ]
I still don't know what kinds of hands I can call preflop in a raised pots. Are there any guidelines I can use for this?

[/ QUOTE ]

Jeff - Very good question.

People have different notions about raising before the flop. Some do it with this and some do it with that. Common raising hands before the flop are AAXY, A2XY, A3XY, A4XY, 234Z, and HHHH.*
*XY are any two cards - but excluding trips and quads.
*Z is any card.
*H is a high card, ten, jack, queen, king, ace - trips and quads excluded.

All those hands together make up approximately one fifth of the hands you’re dealt.

If someone is raising before the flop with about one fifth of the hands he is dealt, he may be raising with all of the hands listed above and no others. Hard to say for sure - but that's a first approximation.

Good players mix up their play in tough games so that it’s hard to tell what they’re raising or not raising with. Bad players often make mistakes, so that it's hard to tell what they're raising with too.

But someone raising before the flop with more than about one fifth of the hands dealt is raising with other various hands - hands some of us might not even play. A few weeks ago in a game with unfamiliar players, a bozo to my right raised before the flop with trip sixes - an absolutely unplayable hand by most standards - and knocked me out with what would have ended up as the winning hand. Bozo lost the hand, which was some satisfaction to me, but he continued to raise before the flop with almost everything, and he saw the flop with most of the hands he was dealt.

So there was Bozo playing 80% of the hands dealt and raising before the flop with 80% or the hands he played. And sitting behind me was a rock garden of players familiar with Bozo’s antics. What to do? (Bozo turned out to play very well after the flop).

I reacted by tightening up and playing like a rock myself. I also made it three bets with my good hands. That strategy apparently worked as I ended up winning a little bit - mostly at Bozo’s expense.

But playing like a rock isn’t much fun for me. And I don’t think I would have continued playing with Bozo on my left (Bozo was actually rather good at reading everyone, including me, and doing the opposite of what I wanted him to do).

At any rate, you’re wondering what hands to play when there’s a pre-flop raise.

I think you have to get a fix on why somebody is raising. There seem to be various motives.

• Some raise because they think they have the better starting cards than all or most of their opponents.

• Some raise because they want to intimidate their opponents. In other words, they want to get their opponents to lay down better hands than they have.

• Some raise hoping to confuse their opponents thus making it more difficult for their opponents to play correctly.

• Some raise without knowing exactly why or because they think if a hand is worth playing, it’s worth raising.

• Some raise because it’s fun for them to raise.

• Some raise to mix up their play.

• Some raise because they think they have cards and opponents such that it seems (or is) correct to raise.

• Some raise with every hand they play so that nobody can gain information on the basis of whether they raise or not.

So there are all these, and various other motives to raise.

If anybody reading this has any other possible motives for pre-flop raising, I’d appreciate your posting and including them. The above is all I can think of right now.

At any rate, how do you cope with pre-flop raises? Should you play a different set of starting hands?

These are very good questions. I think the key to answering them involves careful observation of your opponents and remembering what kind of hands they have raised with. (This is not easy to do).

Omaha-8 poker is a game of probabilities. You estimate your probability of winning on the basis of the information you have. Sometimes you gain information from pre-flop raises, especially from naive players who play more hands than they raise with but who only raise with certain types of hands. Other times you just cannot know what kind of hand an opponent who raises is holding.

If an opponent has only raised with ace-deuce type hands, then you play accordingly. Similarly, if an opponent has only raised with hands having a pair of aces, then you play accordingly. (See Ben's post for suggestions as to how to "play accordingly" - but in my humble opinion, it's not a matter of specifically doing something, but rather playing as though you can see your opponent's hand).

If an opponent raises almost every time he enters the action, then you consider the percentage of hands he plays (ideally from each position but at least outside the blinds).
a. If he only plays about one hand out of five or less, and raises when he enters the action, then assume when he enters the action he has a starting hand in the top 80th percentile (one better than four out of five possible starting hands).
b. If he plays most hands dealt and raises when he enters the action, then assume most of the time he’s simply trying to intimidate you and play accordingly. In other words, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by an opponent whose goal seems to be to intimidate.

I agree with Beavis that how to play depends on how many of your opponents are probably seeing the flop. But knowing that it's three to five doesn't help much. I think in general you can play more hands when you have more opponents seeing the flop and chasing after the flop, but it's very hard to be specific. You just keep your antennae out to sense as you go. (I realize that's very vague).

Bottom line: There’s no easy solution. There’s simply no way around knowing how your each of your opponents plays and then playing accordingly.

Just my opinion.

Buzz
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  #6  
Old 12-25-2005, 01:03 PM
Lurshy Lurshy is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

Nice reply Buzz.

I would add '- some raise to steal blinds'

Do you use the GAP principle when determining when to call a raise PF? Meaning you need a 'premium rasing hand' in order to call a raise with?

Besides the GAP principle, I also try to determine the likelyhood that it will be re-popped. If I am closing out the action or close to closing out the action, I am more likely to call than if there are 6 more people to act after I call.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2005, 05:27 PM
Buzz Buzz is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

Lurshy - Thanks.

[ QUOTE ]
Do you use the GAP principle when determining when to call a raise PF? Meaning you need a 'premium rasing hand' in order to call a raise with?

[/ QUOTE ]

Not usually.

But if I’m in a very tight game where everybody raises when they enter the action I probably do. Someone entering the action with a raise from early or mid position in these tight/aggressive games invariably has a very decent starting hand and one that plays well one-on-one. Others in the game tend to get out of the way, often leaving it up to the blind to defend or not. In these games someone might just call if defending the blind but would tend to make it three bets if coming in with position behind the raiser. In such a tight/aggressive game the GAP concept would apply more than in the typical ring games in which I play.

In the typical ring games in which I play, five or six people usually limp, rather than entering with a raise, the small blind completes, the big blind checks, and almost everyone sees the flop for one small bet. That’s sort of the norm. However, occasionally someone raises before the flop, more at some tables than others, and more from some individuals than others.

When someone does make a pre-flop raise, in one of these games, I try to establish a motive for the raise. Ideally, based on observations of past performance, I’ll be able to estimate the range of hands of the raiser, but often it’s hard to know for sure. Then the plan is to proceed or not depending on:
• my own cards,
• the table image I want to establish,
• the motive of the raiser if I can assess one,
• the range of hands I think likely for the raiser if I can tentatively put the raiser on a range of hands,
• the position of the raiser,
• my own position,
• how I think my other opponents will react to the raise on the current betting round (will they re-raise, call, fold - and then what will happen?).
• what I think the effect of the raise will be on my other opponents in future betting rounds. (Will they be more or less likely to chase?)

I realize that is all very vague and nebulous.

[ QUOTE ]
Besides the GAP principle, I also try to determine the likelyhood that it will be re-popped. If I am closing out the action or close to closing out the action, I am more likely to call than if there are 6 more people to act after I call.

[/ QUOTE ]

Makes sense. I agree those factors merit consideration.

I'm not dishing the GAP concept or tight play. And I do tend to play tighter myself in some games with more pre-flop raising than normal. It just depends on who is doing the raising and why - and on how the rest of the table is reacting to pre-flop raises - and that depends on various factors, including who and why.

Just my opinion.

Buzz
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2005, 05:57 PM
kitaristi0 kitaristi0 is offline
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Default Re: Preflop hand selection when facing a raise

[ QUOTE ]
Do you use the GAP principle when determining when to call a raise PF? Meaning you need a 'premium rasing hand' in order to call a raise with?

[/ QUOTE ]

In low-mid limit o8 games I play in, many people aren't too good, and will often raise with inadequate values, or hands that "look good", e.g. AA69r. As such it's not necessary to tighten up much when facing a raise. This is, however, of course opponent dependant. If I see a player fold 100 hands in a row and then raise UTG, I'm getting out of the way unless I pick up at least AA2 suited.

Also in o8 hand values run much closer in value, so calling a raise PF may not be that big of a mistake, even if he has a slightly better hand then yours.
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