Originally Posted by ckingriches
It seems like cold calling with good, but not premium hands, is often the safest course of action. Maybe that's a problem with my game, but I'd rather call with 10's, JJ, QQ, KQ, AJ, or AQ than push too hard and find myself up against a bigger pair or a bigger kicker.
I get your logic, and used to think this myself. fwiw, here's another way to think through the situation.
Let's say you're SB w JJ and CO opens for 4xBB. CO appears to be smart and aggressive, and has shown down a premium hand or two when he opens, and has shown down a speculative hand or two when he opens. So, based on what we've seen, let's say his open from CO represents 55+, 87s+, 97s+, alot of suited A's, and broadway cards. Your JJ are actually, on average, better than what he's representing with his opening range - hurrah!
So let's say we cold call in SB, and the flop is A72r. What do we do now? Are we calling 3 streets to see if our JJ is good? This is why everybody hates playing JJ, right?
Instead, let's say we 3bet preflop to 13xBB.
The first bit of good news is that CO will fold most of the hands I listed above, and you immediately win the pot (yay!). Notice that, if the range I gave CO is accurate, the majority of the time you will win money doing this.
The second bit of good news is that he'll probably only 4bet you with a range of hands that is better than JJ, say QQ+,AK (the range depends on the specific villain, but this is typical of microstakes), so you can now fold and only lose 13BB's (that sounds like a lot, but imagine how much you'll invest in the pot if you call 3 streets postflop to see if your JJ are good).
The third bit of good news is that if he calls, you now have the initiative in the hand (of course, we're oop, which totally sucks, but whatever) - CO will be reacting to your actions postflop, so you can be the aggressor if the board warrants it. By calling, CO has also told you he doesn't have the worst hands I listed above (he would've folded), and probably doesn't have the premium hands either (w QQ+, AK he would've 4bet), so you also have a better idea of what he's holding.