Let's Talk Pre-Flop Play
There's not really any kind of recent thread talking about this. So um, start talking about this so I can add something to the digest. I'm going to hit some high points here and you guys can flesh out more if you want.
For open-raising ranges for completely total freaking newbies against all unknowns, I tend to suggest something like:
UTG: AQ+, 88+
UTG+1: Add AJs, KQs
MP1: Add AJo, KQo
MP2: Add ATs, QJs, JTs
HJ: Add KJs, KTs, QTs, 77-22
CO: Add T9s-65s, A2s-A9s, all other broadways
BU: Add J9s-64s, Ax, Any two suited 7+, T9o-98o
SB: Same as CO range
And I would suggest to open 4x from all positions but CO/BU, where you should open 3x instead. That's sort of being pulled out of this here ass of mine, and there are plenty of other fine strategies, but that is fairly easy to remember and can get someone started. Also, I'm referring as two cards Ten or higher as a broadway. For 6-max games, just drop the first three seats.
Late position opening ranges will tend to depend more on the remaining opponents than the early position opening ranges, and there are a whole lot of ideas that go into this. I have a really old set of blind steal posts at http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...-a-152792.html and http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...se-173291.html that are both in the BC digest.
The only thing that has really changed much is that a 4x opening raise is less fashionable as a standard opening size. There are a number of reasons for this, but in general a lot of it has to do with the 3/4/5-betting game and how larger open-raising sizes make it harder to deal with people who are 3-betting you a lot. There's a kind of old post that's still pretty good about the 3/4/5-betting game at http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...he-163171.html and I'm recommending it because it's good, not because I'm mentioned in the first sentence, I swear. The other reason a smaller opening raise size is great is because it makes your opens +EV as shit just from how often the blinds fold.
When some people limp and it's folded to you, you can raise or limp behind. I talked about this some in http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerfo...rs-152850.html and though some of the examples might be a little off, the general ideas still hold. You want to limp behind with hands that play well multiway, isolate single limpers more when they are bad players or easy to exploit (eg: fold to c-bet a bazillion percent of the time, or limp/fold a lot etc).
Speaking of open limping, don't ever fucking do it. Okay that's not entirely true, but if you're having to ask when to open limp, you shouldn't be doing it yet. There is nothing inherently bad about open limping in poker. For example, in many games, like limit Omaha 8 or better or stud games, it's better to open limp in a lot of spots than to open raise. In aggressive no-limit hold'em games, it's generally a bad idea. That's why live it can be fine since live games tend to be more passive.
If someone limps, you raise, and they re-raise, a lot of the time they've got you smoked. At micros especially, most people do not balance their limp/raising range at all, so folding hands as strong as AQ is often going to be a no-brainer. Going into small stakes, some people are balancing that range now, or even having it completely unbalanced in terms of it being exceptionally weak (ie: rarely or never having strong hands) because people show that line so much respect. It's a natural adjustment for them to make, and a good one if they are right about the level you're thinking on.
Cold calling pre-flop in position is the nuts and so many people just do it with something like JJ-22 that it's ridiculous. I've seen it said over and over, especially in the BC, that players shouldn't call raises with suited-connectors "until they learn how to play better" or some bullshit line like that. In reality, you should be folding something like 22-55 against decent players more often. There are no hard and fast rules for this, but if you're 100bb deep at microstakes against a 3x MP open from some sort of tagg, and the blinds are unknown, I would suggest calling on the button with something at least as wide as 22-JJ and 87s-KQs or AKs, maybe dumping 22-55 or so and adding some J9s-86s type stuff. If it was a CO open instead, I have to recommend calling with all that shit plus some suited broadways and KQ and A2s-A9s kind of stuff. For fuck's sake do not 3-bet bluff with A2s-AJs in this spot, there is so much value in calling I will find you and shit in your bed or something.
Random tidbit. If there's some idiot drooler in the blinds playing tons of hands and donating left and right, open up your MP ranges like you were a seat ahead of the seat you're actually in (or more) as long as there's not someone 3-betting the shit out of you behind you. This works kind of like isolating limpers that are bad players. You make tons of money by playing pots with shitty players when you're in position.
Okay, you guys' turn.