Profiting in Micro-Limit NLH.
This is a bit long. I also suggest checking out Joose/Storm's Micro-Limit video because Im sure they have a lot better stuff than this.
I've been working on this for about a month now and I've been having great results, so I decided to share this with everyone. One way to profit in these limits is to exploit the mistakes of bad players.
This is for micro-limit [.05/.10 blinds] NLH.
As a player, these are some things I suggest you do and keep in mind:
1. Play solid, smart poker.
Try not to chase cards if you are getting improper odds
, for example.
2. Position is key.
Try playing the button and late position very strong and aggressive. Having position over your opponent(s) is very important.
3. Dont become too predictable.
You dont have raise the button 100% of the time. Mix it up and raise in early position.
4. Pay attention to the players and take notes.
This is very important because you will want to know who the bad players are and these are the players you want to go after. You dont have to be in hand with an opponent to get an idea on how they play.
The opponents you really want to go after are:
1. The call stations/chasers.
These types of players frequent the micro-limits, so it shouldnt be too hard to find them. The reason why you want to target these types of players is because they practically feed money to you.
1. How much to raise.
There have been times where Im in late position with QQ and 2 limpers ahead of me. I raise 5x the BB and still get half the table in the hand with me. And then to make things worse, an A or K will flop and I have slow it down/let my hand go.
So, why does this happen? Surely, not everyone had a hand worth calling, right? Look at it this way-with blinds at .05/.10, a 5x BB raise is only .50. Most players at these limits can afford it and thats what most of them are thinking. "its only .50" where as they should be really thinking "its a 5x BB raise. He has/he's representing a big hand." You are more likely to get called, especially by loose players, because they're willing to lose .50 here or .35 there.
So, I have found that the best thing to do is to raise suited connectors and small pairs 3-4x the BB. Its even better if you have position over your opponents, but its also nice to out of position as a way of mixing up your game. This has potential to work in your favor because:
You're raise represents a strong hand preflop. Say the flopped is check to you, you now have a chance to steal the pot by c-betting.
If you flop a monster, like a set or a straight, you have an excellent chance of getting paid off. Especially if you're in a hand with a few call stations.
If you dont hit or you get bet into, you can lay it down without risking too much of your stack.
Playing big pairs or big hands like AK is different because you dont want a lot of callers in the pot with you. So, what do you do if your table doesnt respect a 4-5x BB PFR? The best thing to do, depending on how many players are in, is to overbet.
If you're on the button and only the blinds are left to act, a raise of 4-5x is good because you want some action with your AA or KK hands. If you're on the button and the whole table has limped, the 4-5x BB raise might not get as much respect, so you'll want to consider overbetting. 10-15x the BB. Sometimes even 20x depending on how loose the table is. This has potential to work in your favor because:
Even if you're opponents all fold, you pick up a decent pot.
Its likely you'll get called by 1 or 2 opponents, but thats ok because its a lot easier to play 1 or 2 than it is 5 or 6.
If your opponent is a call station and they hit the flop, you are in great shape to take most of or all of their chips.
1. Exploiting the chasers.
Say you have QQ and you're in a hand with an opponent who you believe is on a flush draw. Well, you want to get them off the hand so you decide to bet the pot. Is this reliable? If your opponent is a decent player who goes by odds, then yes. They know they're not getting proper odds to call and they fold. What about players who like to chase? The answer is no because you are risking too much money when you know they'll call. Most people might say to "push all in and make them pay for their draw." IMO, its too risky to put all of your chips against an opponent who will have no problem calling you in hopes of hitting that draw.
Bet out half the pot against players you believe to be on a [flush] draw. The reason for this is:
You're giving your opponent improper odds to call. Even if they do hit the flush, mathematically and in the long run they will lose money.
If you have to slow it down or fold your hand, you have lost a very little amount.
You still profit from this on each street, but without risking a lot of your stack.
2. Pay a little to win a lot.
If you're in a hand with an opponent who you think is on a flush draw, has been calling you down, and they hit it on the river. If they value bet the river, call them. Its a lot better if you have position and they check their flush to you (in hopes you bet) because you can just check behind. Either way, its worth a call because this is information you can use. They may or may not have been on a flush draw and your read could be wrong. So, you really want to make sure you get an idea how an opponent plays.
This goes along with paying attention to the table/players because most of the time this information is already given to you when you pay attention to how other players play their hands.
Another way to pay a little to win a lot is to let your opponents do the betting for you. Say you raise with 77 and you get a caller. The flop shows under cards to your 77, but has 2 suited cards. Your opponent, who is out of position bets out the minimum. Now, most players here might raise to win the pot, but your goal here is to gather information. A raise here could scare the opponent off, so the best idea is to call. Also call a bet on the turn, and then just check the river if they check. You dont want to bet the river because if they fold, you still arent getting the information you are looking for. What you're interested in is the hand your opponent is holding. This will give you an idea of what he is holding the next time they do similar bets. Say they were holding a flush draw. Well, the next time you're in a pot and they bet out the minimum, now you have a good idea of what hand they're holding and you can raise it up.
Keep in mind that no matter how smart or safe you play, there is always a chance of you losing a hand. Whether its a suckout or a bad beat or a player calling on a draw. Just remember that in the end, playing solid and smart poker will benefit your more in the long run.