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Old Dec 05, 2004, 1:41am   #1
92hatchattack
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Default Ready to get started...Best strategy for learning pre-flop??

Ok,

I want to kind of just jump in and start playing some low limit hold'em (.05/.10)

I read over the Abdul guide for preflop hands, and i admit, with little to no play time under my belt its a little confusing. Thats why im looking to getting into the game and slowly start aplying these tactics....

What do you all recomend as a proper procedure from start to finish in getting a good solid understand in preflop hands.....

My first idea is that when i enter a room im gonna just sit back a few hands and watch the table.... see how people are playing there cards.... try and lossly catogorize the type of player they are....

but after that im not sure how i should go about things....

How do all of you memorize the proper way to play starting hands???? I mean for a first timer it is a bit confusing being that i have to balance the type of player, the cards i hold, and the position that I, and other players are in....

Should i just sit in the table posibly with the Abdul guide open, and kind of play off that for awhile??? If i do it enough it should eventualy become photogenic in my head right????

And do i worry about odds pre flop, or just concentrate on playing my cards based apon the moves of the other players???

and just a simple question.... Am i understanding correctly that genaraly when sitting on, or close to the bottom/blinds it is generaly ok to play a little looser, often raising to steal the blinds????

and when being under the gun the general idea is to play real tight????

haha, do i still sound like a total fish???? i really had no idea when i came to read a few tips about poker how intense the competition really is!!!

thanks, you guys are great!

Joe
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Old Dec 05, 2004, 5:01am   #2
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"What" isn't as important as "why". Like Abdul calls it, there are guides - not rules.

AA is better than KK. Do you have it memorized?

This doesn't matter as long as you can understand why AA will win 4/5 times against KK. This way, you don't see "QQ - raise with this, as this is the third or fourth best starting hand you can get." Instead, you see the raise, reraise, rereraise and rerereraise, and think - one of them probably has AA, QQ, or at best for you AK.

Again, don't memorize that. Use the guides untill you can ask, and answer "why" for as many situations as possible. If you can't figure out what to do with say AQ late position after a raise by a maniac who was UTG, just use the guide untill you can figure it out.

Also, remember that there is never one optimal play that will win. There are just too many variables in poker to ever make a set playbook possible.

However, after all that, there are some things that can help.

Yes, you should tighten up a bit UTG. A good way to play small pairs and suited connectors is to try to limp, but consider throwing them away to a raise.

Can you explain "why" these work? If not, that should be your focus, not rote regurgitation of facts from a guide to the table.

Oh, and keep asking questions and we'll try to help. Especially the "why" question
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Old Dec 05, 2004, 3:16pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_fox31

Yes, you should tighten up a bit UTG. A good way to play small pairs and suited connectors is to try to limp, but consider throwing them away to a raise.

Can you explain "why" these work? If not, that should be your focus, not rote regurgitation of facts from a guide to the table.
well, i have not read about "why" this works, but if i had to guess the best thing is to tighten up UTG because there is alot of betting thats gonna go on after you call/bet...... from what i understand with a killer hand like AA, the best thing to do here is limp/raise/reraise, but maybe with AKo the best thing to do is bet, and try to knock out any hands that may develop for players after the flop.

betting in late position i asume u can be a little looser being that youll have already seen all the action around the board.... take QJo for instance..... im asuming if theres alot of action before the bet gets to you the best thing would be to fold, cause someone out there has the K or A.... thats a givin....

but if the hand has maybe only one raise on its wat to you then a call would be in order... and a limp all the way around could probaly use a raise, hopefully scaring people out.... Is this a proper mindset???

Now, while i have been waiting for my bank acount to clear with Netteller, i wave been on Pacific poker playing with play money.....

Now i have to ask, on PP do the people play for low limit money(.05/.10) the same whay they play with real money??? Cause if so its kinda scary to me...... Everone always stays in, calling all the way to the flop... is it just me, or is it really hard to play a game like this??? I find in a game like this its really hard to read the players at all cause there all doing the same damn thing ....

I also ran into a maniac .. just me and 1 other person in the room .... This became very frustrating to me ... he would raise no matter what he had, and keep raising all the way to the river to see if is hand was made, and then would limp/call if it wasnt ....

I tried to play him a little looser, and it was working ok except for the simple fact that when i had decent hands that i though i could win with becuase he was playing garbage, he would stay in the whole time and many times hit on the river!?!?!

How should i handle these two situations???
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Old Dec 05, 2004, 5:04pm   #4
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well, calling 2 bets cold with QJo isnt a good idea, i wouldnt do that. And raising with it is a mistake too, since the hand isnt strong enough against 4 or 5 people (wich you have at .05-.10). You could call a raise with it if its suited or even raise with it if your in late position and there are many limpers.
Forget the playmoney games! They are ok to get familiar with the software but they wont improve your play. In fact, the micro limits at pacific arent much different. There are always 65%-70% players per flop but not as agressive as in play money, most people are lose passiv.
No it isnt hard to read they guys in that games, its nearly impossible. They will call with nearly everything. So you have to change your play if you want to win. If you know how to play against them, this games are a gold mine. Understand that suited cards (connectors, gapers...) go up in value if there is no preflop raise. This hands need help from the board and if you dont get it, fold. The chance to flop a flushdraw is 10.9% or 8.2-1. So with all those guys who will pay off your flush its worth to limp. If you hit you have to punish their weakness and let em pay.
Same happens to small pocket pairs. If you have 55 and the flop is JK7, muck it. You have no chance to win. But if you flop a set, play it agressive (the chance to flop a set with a pair is 11.8% or 7.5-1). Again, all those callers pay you off.
But be carefull, pocketpairs and overcards are very vulnerable. Even if you have AA and the board has 3 of one suit or a possible straight, fold it. But make it as expensive as possible for possible draws. Now you might think: "why should i bet, he will call anyway" But if you bet/raise you might kick people out or cut the odds. Remember, everytime an opponent makes a mistake, you gain.

The general rule: High cards / big poket pairs like few opponents cause they can win the pot without or with few help. Small pocket pairs and suited cards like many opponents since they need help from the board.


Tighten up against a maniac. It will be too costfully to play speculativ hands. But if you have a big hand, punish him. If he likes to bluff, let him do the raising. So he thinks that he can bluff you out. If you reraise he might fold. But that depends on your reads. If you have the nuts and he is on tilt, raise as much as you can. Sometimes the whole table seems to be on tilt, tighten up again and punish their weakness with strong hands. Weak hands will cost you at least 3 or 4 SBs to see the flop and muck them after it, that is a negative play.
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Old Dec 06, 2004, 9:56pm   #5
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ok cool.....

now one question im not understanding..... preflop..... am i suposed to be calculating some kind of odds at this point or do i just strickly play the cards with the general preflop strategy????

i have not even started applying pot odds on the flop yet..... just thought id add that... im trying to work on the whole preflo thing first, and move ahead one step at a time.....

now, a few questions...... how should i hand something like Axo or Axs????

i have started playing real money .05/.10, and i will admit i am still not playing the preflop tight enough .... ive even let hands like Kxo slip in there....

should i be throwing out these hands????
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Old Dec 06, 2004, 10:13pm   #6
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Deffinately not Kxo, certainly not Axo, and maybe not Axs. I play them like suited connectors - you exchange the straight draw for getting the nut flush draw as opposed to the 8 high flush you'd get with 78s.

The reason why you don't want to play Ax is b/c you are unbelievably screwed if someone calls with A(higher kicker). Believe it or not, it happens alot.

But what's so bad about that? Well, say you have A7, and AJ calls.
Flop is A A 5. You have top set, so you bet it, he raises, you reraise, and this goes on untill the showdown. The only way you can win with a dominated hand like this, is if you hit one of the three 7s left in the deck. That doesn't happen.

The importance of the kicker is almost always underrated by new players, figuring "what are the chances of that?", and they get burned by it over and over.

Moving on, I don't use pot odds preflop, just because you have so little idea as to where you're going with the hand. As long as you are playing good cards, you can usually see the flop for one bet.

More important than what the pot is, is how many players going to call. With drawing hands, you want lots of people to pay you off when you do hit, and with big cards, you want fewer players to draw out on you.

Thus, instead of counting up bets and your odds of hitting on the flop or river or whatever, you should look and see that like 6 people have folded, and only you and the blinds are left, you should probably dump your TJs as you just probably won't get your moneys worth.
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Old Dec 06, 2004, 10:58pm   #7
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ok, so what yout generaly saying, is that even though im playing these low limits, and pretty much everyone is going to call to a showdown, i should still tighten up a bit.. right?
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Old Dec 07, 2004, 3:53am   #8
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Yes, but there is no limit that makes playing Kx and Axo profitable. It isn't because of the limit, it is because they are just bad cards.
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Old Dec 07, 2004, 6:04pm   #9
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92hatch, you have to understand why to do smth. You should know why you can play AXs but not AXo. Sure, you have a chance of getting the flush, makes sense. But thats not the main reason (or maybe it is, but the following is important too ) Here is an example:
Preflop: A6o
Flop: AJ7
Bet in front of you, you think "nice, top pair" and you raise. You get called or even reraised. So now you should think: would someone bet/call or even bet/reraise with a pair of jacks with an ace on the board? Maybe yes, if hes aan idiot but probably no! So there is a big chance that someone (and thats important since there are always at least 5 other guys on the flop) has an ace with better kicker or even two pair or a set. And unimportant what cards will come, they wont help you if it isnt a 6 (and if it comes, youll maybe still lose). That means you have only 4 outs and your odds are 10.8-1 (or 5.6-1 flop-riv). Not pretty good.
If both cards were suited you have a chance (10.9%) of flopping a flush draw, the nut flush draw! Sure you should be still very carefully if an ace flops (and no draw), but that isnt a disaster. If youre in late position and its checked to you, bet out! Someone with a pair of jacks will call, and someone with a pair of aces had bet (they bet nearly always with a pair of aces in the low limits). I think there is a general "rule": Those hands can win small, but lose big.

no you dont use (pot) odds preflop. there are some chances wich might be good to know:


Wired Pair: Flops a set 11.8% (7.5-1) of the time.
A-K: Flops at least one ace or king 32.4% (2-1) of the time.
Two suited cards: Makes a flush 6.5% (14.4-1) of the time.
Two suited cards: Flops a flush 0.8% (124-1) of the time.
Two suited cards: Flops a flush-draw 10.9% (8.2-1) of the time.
Unmatched cards: Flops two pair 2.2% (44.5-1) of the time.
Connectors: Flops a straight-draw 12.5% (7-1) of the time.



and some more wich i forgot
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Old Dec 07, 2004, 9:17pm   #10
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WOW!, i played .50/$1 last night and boy did i get shitted on!!!!

lost nearly $30 and im not really sure why?!?!?! maybe i was playing to loose and or betting to aggresive...

the three best hands a had and bet agresively on got smashed!!!

preflop AKo
flop -- AKx
bet mildly aggresive....... one guy calls me to the river and bets/ i call...

my 2 pair-- AA,KK loose to the the trip Aces he was slowplaying.....

preflo -- AA
flop------xAx
i bet to the river and get called to the river...... get raised at the river...

my trip Aces loose to a straight hit on the river....

and i dont remember the details of this one but i have a full house, and on the river my opponent hit an even better full house!!!! WTF!!!

im pretty discouraged with all that...... after that i was pretty much on tilt and playing dumb before i relised that it was time to call it quits for the night .... man, whats a guy to do now???? how the hell am i going to get that bankroll back?????

Jasmien..... whats smth?????? did u mean math????
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