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[FTR Quick Tip 002] Preflop Raise Sizing

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kcz8y1mQcw[/youtube]

FTR Quick Tip: Helping you plug leaks in 5 minutes or less.

This week’s tip focuses on what size of preflop raise is good in different situations.

Discuss this video in our Poker Forum: [FTR Quick Tip 002] Preflop Raise Sizing Forum Thread

Full Transcript

Hi everyone. This is Mike 1013 for Flop Turn River. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about sizing your preflop raises. Before we get started. Let’s look at some of the stats that we have here. On the first line, it’s VPIP-PFR, three bet percentage. On the next line it’s see bet and fold to see bet. Those are the only stats we are going to be using. You can ignore the other ones.

There are some times when you are going to want to make your preflop raise a little bit larger than usual and conversely there are sometimes you are going to want to make a small preflop raise. Let’s talk about the first situation. The times when you are going to want to make a large preflop raise. Whenever there is dead money in the pot, whether through someone posting or through a limper or two in front of you. If you decide to play, you are going to want to make a larger preflop raise than normal. The pot size will be inflated, so you will want to cut down on the odds that you are offering your opponents. You will want to make a larger preflop raise than normal in order to capitalize on all this dead money. Another reason to make a large preflop raise, is if you can identify exploitable tendencies in your opponents, which will allow you to win more money. The more money you can get in the pot with that.

Let’s take a look at this example hand here from a 25 and all cash game [inaudible 00:01:40] Table. I have ace/nine in middle position and there is a poster behind who posted the blind and the cut-off. There is someone who limps, open limps, right in front of us.

Let’s take a look at the stats. He is a 23-9. He is passive, probably not a very good player and he has a weakish range here. That alone argues in favor of raising. Even more importantly though is the fact that post flop, he is folding to see bets 65% of the time. He’s folding about two thirds of the time to see bet. He is basically playing fit or fold on the flop, which it is terrible to limp call and then play fit or fold. The more money we can get him to call off preflop, it is that much more money we are going to win when he folds to our see bet, which he is going to do two thirds of the time. The other third of the time, we are sometimes going to make the best hand anyway. I think this is a very favorable spot for inflating the size of the pot a bit. Especially one combined with the fact that there is the dead money from the poster behind us. I went ahead and made a six big blind raise here.

What about the other situation where we are going to want to make a smaller preflop raise than normal? Let’s look at the second hand here. This one happens at a 50 and all table. We have deuces in middle position and it folds to us. Now, let’s take a look at the players behind us and what kind of action we expect to happen here. Most of these players are short stacked. From looking at their stats although it is a pretty small sample, it does not look like they are doing a lot of cold calling, it looks like they are doing a lot of three betting or folding. When we open here, they are going to be three betting and they are pretty much committing themselves when they three bet. They might be right at the threshold of committing themselves depending on size.

When we have a monster, we do not gain too much by making a huge preflop raise because they are going to be three betting and we can get it in anyway, almost no matter what we raise. If on the other hand, we have a hand that we are going to want to fold to a three bet, well then why would we make a large raise? We would want to minimize the amount we are going to lose. Here in this situation, where we have a short stacks behind us, and especially players who it looks like they are doing a fair amount of three betting. It is a small sample size. These are two of the things that will make you want to make you want to make a very small sized open raise; short stacks behind you and players who like to three bet behind you. This incidentally is why people in tournaments or people playing cap tables, why they make smaller raises. They are correct to do so because with a small raise you can still get pretty much as much value as you are going to get from your monsters. It allows you to save money those times that you have to fold.

I went ahead here and made a min open, which I think does the job and there is no reason to really go any much larger than this. Thanks for watching guys. I hope this has been informative.

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