Pre-Flop Raising Hands
What is Pre-flop Raising Hands?
First off, a pre-flop is the second part of the poker game. This is where you and the other players are given two cards each; both of which are private and can only be seen by you. When you get the cards, you get three options: to call, to bet or to fold.
In it’s most basic sense, the pre-flop round is simply the time when you decide your next course of action based on the strength of your cards.
When you get to this round, it is always best that you raise pre-flop. Why? The entire point of the game is to find an edge over the other players and then exploit that edge, and you cannot do that if you are a limper. A pre-flop raise sets you up for better profit, because it’s easier to make better decisions when there are fewer players in the pot.
So, when you are the first person to enter the pot, always do so with a raise—raising pre-flop sets you up for post-flop success. Also, when you have a strong hand, it’s better to raise pre-flop because then you get more value from your hand.
Strategies on Pre-flop Raising Hands
When raising pre-flop, the first thing you should do is consider the kinds of players at your table. You should also be able to identify the blinds and consider how big (or small) they are compared to your stack. Also, consider the following:
- How many chips are in your stack, how many are in your opponent’s, and the average stack at your table.
- The other players who have acted before you, their positions, and their prior actions.
- Your opponent’s betting pattern and the size of their wagers.
After considering all of these, then you’d be able to put your opponents at the table on a range of hands.
Also, when playing in a shorthanded game of say six players, you can afford to reduce your starting hand requirements, which will allow you to see more flops.
How to Avoid Pre-flop Mistakes
- Have a Plan: Work out your pre-flop strategy ahead of time. Don’t leave it to chance. That’s the quickest way to lose.
- Whether you are going to raise or limp, and if you choose to raise, what hand you are going to.
- If a player raises in front of you, what range of hands you will continue with.
- How you will respond to 3 bets from each position when you open-raise.
- Know your position and make sure to be aware of how your opponent’s position will affect your range.
- Don’t play tight at a big blind.
- Don’t play passively, but don’t play too aggressively either. It’s okay to be aggressive, but when it comes to pre-flop play, there is such a thing as over-doing it.
- Again, avoid limping.
How to Raise
- Raise bigger bets if you are out of position.
- Raise 3 to 5 times the amount of the big blind, raise more if you have limpers in the pot.
- Always consider the stack to pot ratio before you raise.
When playing poker, it is important not only to be aggressive but to be patient. The key is to wait for good starting hands and then play them aggressively.