The game of poker is excitement multiplied by math. In poker, you need to make the right decisions in a given situation, which will become the key to a successful and profitable game. For many beginners, it is preflop play that presents the greatest challenge. How do you determine whether to enter the hand, bet, call, or fold your hand? In this article we will talk with you about the rules of the preflop game.
At micro-stakes, the best strategy is to play tight-aggressive and play a small number of hands. At the same time, all such playable hands must be played aggressively, placing bets and trying to squeeze opponents out of the draw. From the button, the maximum number of playable hands should be no more than 30%, and no more than 15 percent of the hands received should be played out of position.
At small limits, you can find both regulars and beginners who have a distant understanding of the principles of this game. Many of these newbies are characterized by frequent raises and overly active play of each of their hands. Beating such opponents is not difficult, and yet you shouldn't ignore their preflop raises. It is tempting to go all in with a middle pair or a strong ace against a player who bets every hand. However, it will be impossible to predict exactly what is in the opponent's hands. There can be both outright rubbish and AK or other nut combinations.
At micro stakes, you can find numerous limpers who often make small bets and call other players. As a rule, these are weak players, which will not be difficult to beat. The best strategy against limpers will be aggression, and the size of the bets should be such that such weak players will simply fold their hands without reaching the showdown.
If you are confident that your opponents entered the pot with weak hands, the best strategy in this case is to attack them with a three-bet and a powerful raise. Most limpers simply fold their hands to such a powerful raise, and even if they call, this only allows you to increase the pot, which will become yours.
At micro stakes, you shouldn't over complicate your strategy. At tables with minimum stakes, it is necessary to simplify the games, which will be the key to a successful game. Try to raise against the limp, play tight by only raising. Look closely at your opponents, try to analyze the play of each. It will also not be superfluous to use the appropriate programs for collecting statistics, which will help to obtain the necessary data about opponents, and the player will be able to analyze his game after the end of the game session.
Ideally, a beginner micro-limit cash game player should learn all the combinations that can be played from one position or another. In reality, there are not so many such combinations, so memorizing them will not take much time. Subsequently, with even such a simple preparation, you can successfully play at tables with a minimum bet size. At the same time, remember about the aggressive strategy of the game, which will help to squeeze opponents out of the play, without even reaching the showdown.
It is the correct assessment of hand strength that presents certain difficulties for many beginners. If everything is more or less clear with the nuts AA, KK or AK, then what to do, for example, with J10 or suited A10. In each case, it is necessary to act according to the situation. If you see that your opponents are playing tight, and one of them has made a strong raise in front of you, then you should not enter the hand with such marginal hands. And if you are sitting at a table with limpers who prefer to make constant small bets, then raising with this hand is the right decision. Try to raise hands that will look good to play even after the call and the flop is opened.
Many beginners literally take the advice to protect the blinds and try to call from the big blind even against strong raises. This game strategy is flawed. You should defend the blinds against limping and stealing, but not against those players who, having a strong combination in their hands, accelerate the pot with their bets. Protecting the blinds is an important aspect of poker that increases the profitability of the game. But you need to evaluate the signals that your opponents give you with their bets and behavior in the drawing. If you see a clear limp, then you need to defend your bets as actively as possible, but big and small blanids should be given for powerful raises without any regrets.
The correct preflop strategy will be the key to a successful game. It is necessary to adhere to a tight strategy of the game, try to evaluate your opponents and act correctly in each of the rallies. Making the right decisions will make it easier for you to play, and most of your gaming sessions will be consistently profitable.