The size of your open - raise

Aejones concerning memory-based strategy article size reminders

Today, I would like to talk to you about the size of your open - raise. There was a thread on the subject recently on the 2 + 2 and people tried to solve by the theory the question of open - raise perfect and looked confused because the practice is rarely as theory.

For example, was me, in a perfect world, a perfect table in a perfect mind, I raise to 4 x the big blind when I'm in position UTG and 2 or 3 times on the blinds. So, 4xUTG, 3.5 times in UTG + 1, 3 times from the cutoff and 2.5 times of the button.


But now, why?

If you raise UTG to 4xBB, you tell your opponents 3-better or folder. You want that they cold call as little as possible. In this way, you cut their calling range because they have more sides implied post-flop. Intuitively, when you restart UTG, you'll have a bigger hand and you immediately want to put money in the pot with your big hand and it there is more important. When you are on the button, your range will be larger and you will want to risk less money with lower hands. If you play 4 tables, you can adapt these standards and I tell you that you will positively increase your win - rate.

When you play smaller limits, like 50 or $ 1 of blind, you can resume to 3xBB the button because the players you calleront more often off-position and it is their mistake. Punish them and make them put more money in the pot when they will be out-of-position and this will increase your win - rate.

If you follow these few indications, you will be winning on almost all positions, except the blinds and you will still be more winning on the cutoff and button.

Unfortunately, you surely lose a lot of money from the blinds. In summary, it is difficult to make money from the small blind and the big blind and very easy to make the cutoff and button and this is why you want to play lots of hands in position and little on the blinds. This is why in the position you should only raise to 2 or 2.5 x the BB.

In parts of a $ 2 / $4, almost everyone will 3better too much out of the blinds and revive too aggressively and rarely cold-caller and this is why in position, we will raise to 2.5 x the BB to be able of caller and leave us enough room for manoeuvre after the flop. When we callons with speculative hands in position, we need lots of room for manoeuvre and to do this, we open weaker.

Why? Because if we are relaunching to 4xBB in position and one has 3-better, it will often abandon the pot because we will not have implied odds for caller and that it will be a big 3 - bet. If it raises to 2 or 2, 5xBB, will call the 3 - bet and will be less often done 3-better. If I raise 3xBB or 2, 5BB with 57s with a deep stack and I have 3-better, I can caller more easily if I raise 4xBB and I have raise at 12 or 14xBB. This is only an example at random, but you see I can least caller of the 3 - bet if I raise 4xBB pre-flop.

In addition, when you restart 2, 5xBB or 2xBB of the button, people will be more likely to you cold-caller to you 3-better, which will be good for you because your opponents will have to play out of their comfort zone and you will have position on them.

And makes me think of a question everyone asks; how to play blinds? I must tell you that the answer is not simple. After playing millions of hands in 6 - max, I can tell you that it is not easy to play the blinds and I will discuss this again later. But if you know one thing, it is that, if it is not easy for you, it is not easy for them.

My range open - raise is quite strict and I'll tell you why. For example, I open hands like KQs, KQo, sometimes it depends on tables, AJo, almost always. I will not open with less. I will not open with ATo nor any other Axo nor KJo. I'll open all Axs, all suited connectors, same 23s. KJs, 9Ts. Assorted figures are quite different from the non-matching figures. You can play more aggressively and this aggression will be that you can earn more pot without showdown. Assorted figures are only slightly stronger than not assorted cards, but it is a small thing that makes a big difference.

When you open, you must always ask what is the range of cold-call to the guy to your left, what is its range of 3 - bet, which will have position on you. At this stage, it is more or less important to worry about the blinds because they will probably way play very ABC given that you open UTG. You must always ask who can you cold-caller in position, which will be able to you 3-better position. Don't forget to consider the stacks, etc. You should be more likely to open hands UTG if you see that there is a fish on the blinds because it will be brought to cold-caller and you can play hands against him in the position.

If you are on a table full of fishs, you should even open hands like KJo, ATo. If I say do not normally open these hand, this is for one simple reason; on a regular table, the range of hands with which your opponents will try you playback or with which they you 3-betteront or cold-calleront will almost always a range that will dominate you and not the reverse.

If you are on table filled fishs which could cold-caller with K8o on the UTG + 1, I can see why you couldn't restart KJo on the UTG. I remember a thread on 2 + 2 where we discussed with one hand played between Ansky and Genius and someone had commented that because there were 2 fishs on the table, the range of Hero UTG could be any 2. It was perhaps exaggerated, but the fact is that Hero may have much more hands there is fish on the table. I hope you understand this fact, not opening with weak hands UTG to not be trouble if you get playback. You don't want to play hands that will be dominated, but the hands with which you will dominate. Otherwise you end up in difficult situations where you floperez a pair and your opponent also and you'll have a bad kicker.