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Old Apr 26, 2008, 4:36am   #1
Such A Card
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Default .25/.50 Limit Preflop Questions

I'm working my way through Miller's Small Stakes Hold 'em book and just got an account on Poker Stars. I haven't put money in there yet. The book assumes you're playing low limit ten-hand ring games, which is where my question comes in.

My question is specifically about his chapter on Pre-Flop play. Once I deposit some money to Stars, I'll start out at the $0.25/0.50 Limit tables.

Anyways, in the chapter on Pre-Flop play, he goes through all the starting hands and talks about the advantages and disadvantages of suited connectors, "Big Broadway" and so on. At the end of the chapter he summarizes his advice in two charts - 1 for loose games and 1 for tight games.

He considers a game loose if 6-8 players see the flop on average (remember, 10-handed games). He considers the table tight if 3-5 players make it to the flop.

Now the problem. I have been watching the games on Stars and it seems very few are "loose." In the lobby, most of the tables show that anywhere from 20-30% at a table are seeing the flop on average. In some of the more short-handed games the percentage is higher, but playing against 6 people would be way different than playing against 10 like he assumes in the book.

He does mention this in the book, "If you have fewer than 10 players, then assume that the missing players folded." Which is fine, but it seems it can't be that simple. Fundamentally, you're going to play much different on a 6 person table than a 10 person table, yes? Or should I stop overthinking and just take him at his word?

I hope this post wasn't too long. Let me know if I need to clarify the questions at all and thanks for the help!
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 12:23pm   #2
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When you first start out I'd recommend playing long handed - short handed tables are great when you have an advantage over your opponents and play better than they do post flop, but for a beginner probably better to cut your teeth on the longhanded tables.

For online play, especially Stars, use the chart for tight play. The loose chart is probably only ever going to be of use in really loose live games. Games rarely get 6 callers seeing the flop online. Of course you can always adjust that for one particular hand - if you're in late position and suddenly 6 or 7 players all limp (that happens occassionally even at a tight table) then you can loosen up and play some of the hands in the loose game chart (lower suited K's & Q's for eg)

Remember that the chart is a guide and you have to couple it with the advice in the book. But it's a good start.

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Old Apr 27, 2008, 3:22pm   #3
Such A Card
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MmmmBalf -

Thanks for the thorough answer. As I said, I've been working my way through the Miller book, but I quickly got to the point of "information overload" and realized that to really take anything from the book I'm going to have to tackle it in small chunks and apply it in real games until I "get" what he means by his advice and it becomes natural, and not just following an If, Then chart. While I do that, I'll just have to accept that I'll probably lose money.

I'll consider it the price of my education.


Thanks again for the answer. I'm sure this forum will be hearing much more from me in the near future.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 3:28pm   #4
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Start out with the tight hands, then once you are comfortable playing those, you can start to add some more.

Add them a few at a time though. Don't suddenly double your range...

If you're normally happy to play (say) ATs in a given spot, then maybe add A9s and ATo.


A 6player game is much different to a 10player game, yes. Never (well, virtually never) open-limp in a 6player game. In a 10player game it's not always a bad idea. In general for 6player games because the blinds come around more often, you have to play more hands to compensate. These games are also (in general) more aggressive. You'll have to widen your range, call down lighter, bluff lighter, value bet lighter, etc...

Stick to the 10player tables to start with and play tight, you'll be fine.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old Apr 27, 2008, 3:54pm   #5
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Originally Posted by Such A Card View Post
MmmmBalf -

Thanks for the thorough answer. As I said, I've been working my way through the Miller book, but I quickly got to the point of "information overload" and realized that to really take anything from the book I'm going to have to tackle it in small chunks and apply it in real games until I "get" what he means by his advice and it becomes natural, and not just following an If, Then chart. While I do that, I'll just have to accept that I'll probably lose money.

I'll consider it the price of my education.


Thanks again for the answer. I'm sure this forum will be hearing much more from me in the near future.
That's a great approach to taking in information from a book, and something lots of new players don't get quite right at first. If you're confused about hands you've played, you can also post them on here and get feedback on your play.
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