3-4 Handed Hand Selection?

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g0tjohnd

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I play 4 handed with my friends on a regular basis. The blinds are 1-2 $. Normally when i play tight aggressive I dont profit as much as in a 10 handed table. What hands should i consider playing in this type of table and how should i go about playing them? Much help is appreciated
 
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jeffred1111

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This is my experience and it suits my style of play (and usually the people I play with), so take it as it is.
a) I value position a lot more, especially if I get limpers who usually play "right" preflop and don't try to slowplay too much. KQs suddenly becomes a monster in these situations.
b) I get more agressive with my hands post flop: with probably many hands going HU, the chances of your opponent catching the flop diminishes greatly. I try to take down many small pots.
c) Ace/rag (A8s, A6s, etc.) gets more valuable and warrants raising. I am careful about not getting picked on for doing so: being aware of what the other players might have if they reraise you is primordial.
d) I'll play ATC more often from middle/late-position, especially if somebody minraises sweetening the pot.
e) Middle to low suited connectors gain in value if the betting is fierce preflop (and youi have a big stack) as you can generally assume they are still live on the flop. The trick is to play them for their straight and or flush possibilities, pairing them still doesn't indicate a big hand unless HU against someone who has overcards.
f) Switch gears more often as people will have more info on what/how you play since you enter more pots.
g) Pocket pairs, even small ones, become more valuable and should be raised, especially if you raise lesser holdings on a regular basis.

In conclusion, I try to see more flops. This, in turn, means not so much that my hand selection changes, but my hand selection vs position gets more and more agressive. I won't usually play J10 under the gun, but with nobody raising, they are like aces once on the button.

I firmly believe that UTG play shouldn't change a lot (sure, hands like KQs go up in value, but will be mucked if I don't have the right flop or sense that I'm getting dominated preflop), but that when you have position, almost ATC can and should be played hard. Lossening up like this needs a pretty tight table or a table with wich you're familiar. On a strange or very loose/passive (one that can't fold for example), bluffing might be unprofitable and I'll play tighter.
 
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young hova

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I like what Jeff said

just know that you can't play tight short handed because the odds of getting dealt dominating hands are much more decreased and if you don't get in and play you'll get your stack blinded off.

Raises shouldn't scare you as much as they might in 10- handed


Position is too valuable in shorthanded as Jeff said, I think the key too Shorthanded play is Positions and controlling the pot size. with position stab at the pot alot and control the pot size so that you don't invest a ton of money in hands like ace rag, and bet more aggressively with dominating hands like ace jack and up in position
 
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Dashir

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With fewer players, the odds are different. If you have an Ace, the odds that someone else at the table has an Ace cut in half at a smaller table. If you have a pocket pair the odds that someone has you beat is also halfed. Obvious, right? Heads up, Ace high is good enough to win more than half the time.

You're also paying twice as many blinds in between premium hands as you would at a full table. The number of starting hands you'll play has to increase accordingly since both the odds of them being the top hands is higher and because you need to play more hands to compensate for the blinds.

You won't be getting the odds for straight and flush draws unless everybody is playing almost every hand. Or there are very aggressive players who will pay you off if you hit. So I value high cards more and connectors less.
 
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ginNjuice

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In my experience playing 3 or 4 handed is about pure aggression. You have to be able to read and trust your reads that you have on your opponents.
I find the game becomes much less about what you have and much more about what your opponent has and what you think they'll do with it in certain situations. I play almost any two cards. connectors and one gappers gain a ton of value and play them the same way you'd play monster starting hands. I rely on betting patterns to pick up information that could be useful. I'll also mix it up alot to throw off my opponents. Things such as raising on the button 3 orbits in a row and then folding for the next couple of orbits to remind them that you know how to play tight and are playing tight seem to work well. I love short handed poker because of the psychological aspect of it that comes into play with your table image, and frustrating less experienced players who only know how to play TAG poker, or can't play a LAG style properly.
The biggest piece of advise i can give is the same as the first thing i said, stay aggressive and play your position and opponents more than your cards.
 
stormswa

stormswa

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ok

In a 3-6 handed game aggression is key like someone said, you should be raising most buttons and small blinds (when folded to you) when you are given the chance to open them up. You should be 3 betting light alot to obvious button steals, in a 3-4 handed game there should not be that many flops seen and if they are seen most pots should be taken down on the flop.

if there are alot of showdowns then the aggression level is just way way way too low and you should get out of that game because no one is making alot of money. You might as well play with your cards face up and just run the hand.
 
skoldpadda

skoldpadda

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I agree with most of what jeff said except the bit about suited connectors. In a short-handed game, they lose a lot of their value. If you can get in with them cheap in position or you all have deep stacks, they are worth playing, but otherwise less value I think. It's less important that you have a big stack than it is that you will get paid off by an equally big or bigger stack.
 
Stefanicov

Stefanicov

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its very simple strategy high cards and pp rule kickers are not so important now raise any ace any king with position all pp and if folded 2 you always rse . when u get 3 handed u up the ante raising nigh on very hand always keep your raises lowish so if repopped over the top u can fold

always take risks at this stage in any mtt or sng
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

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^^ What Stefan said.

Also, QJ and QT are strong hands in such a short-handed game.

I agree with Skoldpadda about suited connectors - only worthwhile in the circumstances he stated.
 
vanquish

vanquish

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Usually when its down to 4 players, I play the other players, and not my cards. This is a generalization though.
 
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jeffred1111

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About the suited connectors bit, my reasoning is that when the betting is pretty fierce preflop (let's say two raises before it gets to you in the BB) and you have the stack and the table image, it might be good to have a go at it once in a while: people will have overcards or pocket pairs and with the right flop, you'll stack them. This strategy works well with the people I play with since they'll follow you to the river if they've made trips on a 3 cards coordinated flush/straight board.

With more advanced players, or players who are more cautious with straight/flushes possibilities, doing so can be deadly to you. I'd say go with the flow when you're dealt 9-10s with people betting like crazy preflop.
 
tiltboy

tiltboy

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I often play short handed home games. My table is full of loose and usually passive players. This allows me to play tight and make alot when i have a good hand. Once i have chip lead i use my position to bully everyone.
 
T

Tunas

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I have to agree with most of our friends here... a game with 3-4 players, i am mostly agressive and not very tight. Any Ace card in hands is very usefull, as any pair 55 above also.
 
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