Or in early position for that matter. During a tournament I was playing last week, I have Online Casino Malaysia aces twice while UTG, so it got me thinking about the best way to get the most value from that hand. It happens rarely enough that, when you do see those beautiful bullets, you really
Or in early position for that matter.
During a tournament I was playing last week, I have Online Casino Malaysia aces twice while UTG, so it got me thinking about the best way to get the most value from that hand. It happens rarely enough that, when you do see those beautiful bullets, you really want to push them for their greatest value.
There are four scenarios I considered:
1) A conventional raise of 3-4 times BB
2) A bigger than normal raise, say 5-10 times BB
3) A min raise of just 2 x BB
4) A call
I like to maintain a tight image in most games, so for a conventional raise, quite often I am going to get respect unless someone has hit a good hand. It is unlikely a good player on the button or in the blinds are going to call unless they also have a top 10 hand. And if they do, they are going to be cautious. About the only hands that might get a re-raise are pocket kings or queens. Even then, they are going to try to keep the pot small in case they are beat.
So there doesn’t seem to be much chance of maximizing the profit with that play.
Similarly a bigger raise than normal will most likely do two things. One, weaker players that might have called with a drawing hand will probably fold. Better players will probably react as if it was a normal raise, and either fold or not risk much more money. Very tricky and aggressive players might think the over raise is a bluff, but again, unless they hit some miracle draw on the flop, not much more of their money is going in.
A min raise may look weak to weaker players. It may get a re-raise from a later position player with a top 10 hand. More likely it will get the same number of callers as if the pot was unraised, and therefore make the price right for anyone with a reasonable draw to see the flop. After the flop I am either going to be facing a draw that hit and be beat, or two or more players now on a one card draw, that will make it very hard to price them out of the pot.
Now what happens if I just call? Almost certainly all the draw hands will also call, which is fine. Then what I really want is a later position player to raise – the button would be perfect. Maybe I will even get lucky with a raise and a re-raise. That is my ideal situation, because then I check raise for about 3 x the pot, or all-in if that means more than 1/3 of my stack. Or with just one raise, I re-raise about the pot.
With a raise and a re-raise, and then my over bet, anyone with KK or QQ is likely to call, and in a situation like that, it is going to look to many players like I am buying the pot, so I may even get callers down to 10 10, particularly if my opponents are short stacked. In most cases, I can’t see AK calling (unless they are short stacked), but you never know. But even if everyone folds, what does it matter? There are now at least 14 bets in the pot, versus what would probably be 8 bets played any other way.
With just one raise, the pot sized check raise will probably get a fold in a situation where it was a late position player trying to pick up a cheap pot. Or if they did have a quality hand, it should get a call. (of course, if they pop it again, well yippee! they have KK and all my chips and theirs are going in).
With a fold, I get at least 9 bets, from a table where no one had very good hands, and would have folded to my initial raise, otherwise giving me 1 1/2 bets. Or maybe a call, and then have to see a flop, and at best win 6-8 bets if I am not beaten.
With a call, there are at least 13 bets in the pot, and I am at worst an 80% favourite. If the flop does some 3 suited connectors, well, I guess that is a risk. On the other hand, the pot is bigger, and unless I am totally beat (which should be easy enough to spot), I have a good chance of getting even more chips from my opponent on later streets.
I haven’t though it through as much, but it seems to me that a similar sort of strategy – but min raise rather than call – would work from the blinds as well.