Calling a raise from the blind

Boltneck

Boltneck

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Question relates to low stakes (25c / 50c) limit holdem.

I've been doing some analysis of my play, and think that I may have highlighted a flaw which I had (until now) overlooked.

As a general rule, if a hand is raised pre-flop from early / middle positions, I normally only call the raise with the sort of hands that I would limp with if I were not in the big blind. There are obvious exceptions to this, but I'm just trying to give typical guidelines of when I would call / fold.

Looking at my PT stats shows that I have won a small but significant number of hands with out and out rubbish when seeing the flop for free from the big blind. To give an example, I would not call a raise from the blinds with JTo (other than in exceptional circumstances) but notice that when I have seen the flop for free from BB, I have won the hand 19% of the time. Admittedly it's a small sample (so I am not sure how much to read into the win %) and it has to be taken into consideration the if there is no PFR the strength of hands against me is likely to be less than if there were a raise.

However, if there are a couple of cold callers to the raise (and assuming that they are loose players rather than rocks) I would be getting pot odds of around 7.25:1 on my JTo, which based on a 19% win rate would give me a positive EV. Should I be loosening up and calling more raises from the big blind (and obviously folding if the flop is not favourable)?
 
Four Dogs

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I used to be an inveterate blind caller. I'm talking 80% from the SB. I've since toned it down quite a bit, more like 40%.
What I'm looking for now is any speculative hand with decent pot odd's. JTo with 7:1 is within range, but just barely. In a ring game I'd call here, but I'd proceed very carefully after the flop, even with top pair.

Your 19% winrate is vs limpers. The problem here is that you're up against a raiser and two callers. I doubt you can still assume the same results.

I wouldn't find fault with anyone who chooses to toss this hand. It's a close call even with the odds.
 
ChuckTs

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Your calling ranges vs steals in limit holdem should be huge.

You're always getting at least 3:1, and against anyone who gets even remotely loose in late position, you're getting odds to call.

I unfortunately can't figure out how to filter my pokertracker database for hands vs steals from the blinds, but I could show you just how low your range should go and how much I've been winning with specific hands.

FP says we should be calling with hands as weak as 75o vs late position stealers, but that's assuming you are solid enough preflop to exploit the smallest edges PF. For example, you have to know what to do when you flop bottom or middle pair and your opponent bets to the river.

JT is an easy call vs any late position steal. I'll occasionally 3-bet it.

Say vs a loose opponent who's raising the top %30 of hands in late position. We're getting 3.5:1 on our call and are only a 1.5:1 dog with the JT - easy easy call.

Take the 75 example: same %30 LP raiser, and same 3.5:1 odds. This time we're a ~2:1 dog and are still getting odds.

With me personally, I'm still not good enough to play hands as weak as 75 to every steal, but I have loosened up my calling range considerably since I started playing FLHE.

These types of situations are things that you don't quite know what to do unless you study them away from the table.
 
Four Dogs

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I agree that this a calling hand vs an LP steeler Chuck, but that's not the situation here. He's got a raiser and 2 flat callers. I assume the OR must be in EP or MP. This is strictly a matter of PO's and EV.
 
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Boltneck

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I was specifically talking about a PFR from early or middle positions - my strategy for dealing with an attempted steal is VERY different. Apologies if I did not make that clear.

Just to put some figures on it, of 508 PFR's from early / middle positions, I have called only 24 times!!!!!! The remainder of the times I have either 3 bet or folded.
 
ChuckTs

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Woops, sorry.

Are we talking full ring here?
 
ChuckTs

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Well to be honest I'm not %100 sure how to calculate your odds using more than one player because it gets complicated.

Even my calculations above are a little off since we're assuming we're seeing all 5 cards which of course isn't always (ok, rarely) true.

On one hand, we're getting much better odds than had we been against just one opponent, but we're also going against more people and are a bigger dog.

One thing to note, like dogs said, is that the %19 you're looking at is vs limpers which is completely different. vs the limpers you'll be seeing much worse hands than in a raised and called hand.

Based solely on feel here I say I'm almost definitely calling JTs but mucking JTo most of the time based on who's raising.
 
zachvac

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Well to be honest I'm not %100 sure how to calculate your odds using more than one player because it gets complicated.

Even my calculations above are a little off since we're assuming we're seeing all 5 cards which of course isn't always (ok, rarely) true.

On one hand, we're getting much better odds than had we been against just one opponent, but we're also going against more people and are a bigger dog.

One thing to note, like dogs said, is that the %19 you're looking at is vs limpers which is completely different. vs the limpers you'll be seeing much worse hands than in a raised and called hand.

Based solely on feel here I say I'm almost definitely calling JTs but mucking JTo most of the time based on who's raising.

Agree with this one. The problem with calling from the blinds is you neglect that you're OOP the rest of the hand. You're getting great pot odds, but if the flop comes KJ3 rainbow, are you ahead? You easily could be, but how do you handle it? Do you lead out? check and then not know the next bet is a simple cbet or AK? You can only use pot odds if you know for sure you're going to win when you have the best hand.
 
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