Microstakes: is it OK to vary the size of your opening raise?
So peelie suggested open raising 4bb at 2nl, when he noticed that I was raising 3bb. This seemed like good advice, as it allows b/b/s to look less obvious. Here's an explanation that I "borrowed"
In both scenarios we are going to assume villain is a loose passive fish in the BB who will c/c down with A2o on AQT53 unflushed while we hold AKo and that we both have 100bb stacks.
If we start with 3x:
preflop: raise to 3x, fish calls, pot is 6bb
flop: bet pot (6bb,ignore sb), fish calls, pot is 18bb
turn: bet pot (18bb), fish calls, pot is 54bb
on the river now we have 73bb behind and can't really shove it in because it looks like such a gross overbet that the fish might fold, so we bet about 60bb and the fish snaps us off and we profit about 87bb-rake.
However, look at what magically happens if we open to 4x:
preflop: raise to 4x, fish calls, pot is 8bb
flop: bet pot (8bb), fish calls, pot is 24bb
turn: bet pot (24bb), fish calls, pot is 72bb
this time on the river we have 64bb behind and we can easily shove river and not have it look like an overbet and get snapped off no problem.
Anyway, I have subsequently been using 4bb as my standard open raise from all positions (thanks, Peelie). Then I was reading the CotW on Preflop Raise Sizing, and all of a sudden my whole world was turned upside down and I was thrown into total confusion!
The last thing that I have to say about preflop open raise sizing deals with stealing. When I am stealing OTB (on the button) I will minraise any two cards. Since we have the button we have ultimate position and we will be able to use that to our advantage to hopefully outplay our opponents postflop. Additionally, since it is only 2bb, you will find that some of your fishier opponents will call waaaaay wider than they should. I personally minraise everything including AA and 72o for disguise and because of the fact that it is very rare for me not to have a shortstacker or a reg in the blinds who will occasionally 3bet me light or shove on me light. However, if you have only fish, feel free to raise up that AA and if you have someone with 100% vpip, don’t worry about folding your 72o. Like I said above, ADJUST, leave if there are 2 shortstackers to your left unless you have position on a fish. The last, and most important, reason that we open to 2bb is this: If we open to 2BB, we risk 2 to win 1.5, so we need our steal to work 57% of the time. That’s it, do this and you should show instant profit.
The last position I have to address opening from is the small blind. Due to the fact that we are oop against the bb I suggest raising to 3bb to dissuade the big blind from calling too wide because it will be extremely difficult to play.
Do you vary the size of your open raise, depending on position and/or opponents?
Surely minraising ATC OTB will be very quickly adjusted to by most opponents, even at 2nl?