Limping Or Calling Min Raise - Several In Pot
I know limping is frowned upon by many, and many live by the rule "If it's good enough to play, it's good enough for a raise".
Of all poker hands in a cash game, I think my favourite to play is a small Suited A on the Button, or one of the Blinds. Big pockets obviously have the best chance by far to win a pot, but it has it's disadvantages. I don't limp with big pocket cards, EVER, recipe for disaster IMHO. You raise big, it's hard to get action. You get caller(s) and you have to think what they're on if your hand doesn't improve on any of the streets, and obviously, the deeper you go into the hand, the better chance you have of getting beaten if your hand doesn't improve.
With a small suited A, a flush is what you're looking for, with other possibilities like a straight, 2 pair, etc. Because you have very little in the pot, it's extremely easy to get away from if you don't get anything on the flop. Your hand can be fairly well disguised as you haven't opened or raised, so players aren't focused on your play and what you might have.
If you're on the blinds, check to see what everyone else is doing while you're figuring your plan, whether it's a fold because nothing hit, or your pot odds
if the Flop was good to you. You have a flush draw?? Sweet!!! If it hits, you probably got the nuts!! For every bb you have to put in the pot, there 1 for each player going in there too unless bets get stupid. (I find with multiple players in the pot, bets don't seem to get as big as quick as if there's only 2 players.)
Say you're SB with A-2 of H, 3 callers to you and BB checks. Flop comes Q-5-6 rainbow with no hearts. You have a crap hand and if anyone bets anything, you can fold feeling comfy you only put 1/2 a bb into the pot voluntarily. Easy to get away from
So let's say (this exact scenario happened to me today) you're BB with A-4 of Clubs, and UTG raises 1 bb, 4 players call and you call, that's 6 players in the pot, 12 bbs and you have put in 2 (only 1 voluntarily). Pretty good odds so far. Now the flop comes K c - 9 h - 3 c, UTG bets 3bbs, 2 folds, 2 callers and you call. You're on a nut flush draw with 5 bbs into a 24 bb pot. Now you have to execute the plan you were formulating while action was going around the table. You can wait to see what everyone else does, and call or raise, or you can take the lead and bet your thoughts. By now, most paying attention will recognize you're probably on a FD. K is on board and if someone had Qx of C, you have the opportunity to get paid off big if the flush hits, or he might fold giving you a decent sized pot. If the Flush hits and nobody else is on it, there might be a set or 2 pair that can pay you off.
Now, those who aren't familiar with hand odds yet, believe me when I say this isn't as easy as it may sound. With suited cards, there's only a 6.5% chance of making your flush. However, if you have 4 to a flush on the flop, I believe there's something like a 1 in 3 chance you will hit the flush by the river.
So, to summarize, if you have a Suited A and can see a flop for cheap, think about going for it. My opinion is a small Suited A has the best ratio for risk Vs. reward of any other hand.
I'd like to see what other more experienced players think of this. Make sense? Or am I out to lunch?