How does the sizing of an open raise affect your calling range preflop?

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kceow2981

Rock Star
Hi I've been playing in Online 6max Microstakes Cash Games for a while now and am a winning player so far, but I've realized I don't quite understand something I've run into a few times.

I have a bunch of ranges I sort of stick to for open raising from each position, open calling, 3betting etc just because I'm new to poker in the last year and needed somewhere to start. All of these ranges assume around a standard open raise size: anywhere from 2bb to 4bb. But sometimes I'll face some guy who will open raise to like 8bb or 12bb randomly. How does this affect me and with what hands I would call with? Sure if the guy does it once in a blue moon maybe I'll play tighter.. But what if they are playing a normal preflop TAG strategy, like 22/17 VPIP/PFR except that they'll open raise to like 8bb preflop from any position?

If someone has a good explanation for how open raise sizing should affect your decision making preflop that would be great. Or if anyone knows of any good resources that explains the math behind open raise sizing in general and how it affects SPR or something that would be super helpful. I haven't been able to find any great resources so far.
 
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emp_d201

Rising Star
This is what I would do in a live 1/1 or 1/2 cash game with effective stacks of 150bb+.

1. Generally speaking when someone open raise you need to tighten up preflop.

2. If a guy pops it to something outside of the typical open raise size (3x, 4x, or 5x) - I would try to interpret what his action means by assigning a range of hands and what he's trying to accomplish with those hands e.g. is he trying to protect his made hand (99, TT, JJ, QQ, KK, AA) are they attempting to make it as close to heads-up or to heads-up, and why? etc. - these are some common questions to consider.

In such a case depending on my hand I would either call (with 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, TT, JJ, QQ), raise (QQ, KK, AA), or fold (22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99, TT, JJ, QQ).

3. also look at his history is this his normal open raise? what hands to you see him at show down?

4. play a straightforward (ABC) approach to TAGs


You said he was a tight and aggressive, who opens between 8bb and 12bb.

In this case what are you calling with and what are you raising with?

In poker we can only see our two cards in our own hands and the 5 community cards, we cannot see our opponent 2 cards - therefore each action you make; your goal is to determine what 2 cards he has in his hands - this can be done by his pre-flop actions, flop, turn and river actions and his showdown hand history how often he entering pots etc.
 
kratos

kratos

Visionary
At first I get afraid of the vilian but after thinking hard I prefer fold and not take risks.
 
PaxMundi

PaxMundi

Legend
Awards
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I cant say i have come across to many Tags or regs that will open raise to 8bb without a very good reason to do so.It's usually just bad aggressive players or people on tilt or good players doing it for a reason vs a fish.

But for ranges vs the standard sizing's you can just cut off the bottom of each range for different sizing's.So in the BB for example if you usually defend K8o Q8o J8o etc.. vs a 2.5x vs the btn.And villain makes it 3x or 3.5x you can now defend K9o Q9 J9o etc.. and the same with the suited combos..
 
alexgrin

alexgrin

Enthusiast
You need to have enough money, and of course analyze the game and the hands of your opponent. Successes
 
Shrops

Shrops

Legend
Hello

If there is a fairly big raise before me I always tighten up my calling range unless the raising player is playing like a maniac. Good luck !
 
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hizaira

Rising Star
I like want emp_d201 said. Also do not forget the math of why you are calling as your stack sizes are effectively reduced now because of his "overbet" preflop.
If you are looking to hit w a hand that needs 20:1 odds or set mine 10:1 is that even possible to realize.

This is a HUGE leak with live players who will play short and then call of big preflop bets. Even if they hit they are never getting the money back they need to justify the calls. (Extreme example but shows the reasoning why your hand selection should be verified in your case).

Also can this guy fold or is he attached to his money? If he calls down light you really need some equity against him. Variance goes up, but I think it is great practice to learn how to play against people outside of the "norm".
 
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kceow2981

Rock Star
I like want emp_d201 said. Also do not forget the math of why you are calling as your stack sizes are effectively reduced now because of his "overbet" preflop.
If you are looking to hit w a hand that needs 20:1 odds or set mine 10:1 is that even possible to realize.

This is a HUGE leak with live players who will play short and then call of big preflop bets. Even if they hit they are never getting the money back they need to justify the calls. (Extreme example but shows the reasoning why your hand selection should be verified in your case).

Also can this guy fold or is he attached to his money? If he calls down light you really need some equity against him. Variance goes up, but I think it is great practice to learn how to play against people outside of the "norm".



When writing this question I KNEW that this was going to do totally with SPR and getting committed to the hand or not I just couldn't put my finger on it
 
elflake

elflake

Rock Star
When you say "randomly" do you mean they change their open-raise amounts ? Or are you just using "randomly" to mean encountering this person. If they are changing I don't think you have any choice but to assume a stronger hand until you see otherwise. If that's just their standard opening raise you'll just have to deal with it, with the most important question being can you get paid off if you hit ? I'll call 12 big blinds with any pair and suited connectors 7/8 and up if I know they'll pay off. You have position on them.
 
K

kceow2981

Rock Star
When you say "randomly" do you mean they change their open-raise amounts ? Or are you just using "randomly" to mean encountering this person. If they are changing I don't think you have any choice but to assume a stronger hand until you see otherwise. If that's just their standard opening raise you'll just have to deal with it, with the most important question being can you get paid off if you hit ? I'll call 12 big blinds with any pair and suited connectors 7/8 and up if I know they'll pay off. You have position on them.



By randomly I meant that that's their standard open raise size. Or at least they would consistently open raise larger than at least 6bb everytime. It was just annoying because I was unsure how to play against it. Though now I suppose you just generally play tighter.
 
B

braveslice

Pull-ups!
Facing larger opens means that you don't have to call or raise very often. Smaller the size the more often you need to defend and larger the raise less you need to play. Thus like emp says you can just play tighter. Facing funny sizes usually means though that implied odds are on the roof, but like hizaira says connector types of hands (multi street hands) come more difficult to play.
 
Gamebreakr25

Gamebreakr25

Rock Star
If there is a fairly big raise before me I always tighten up my calling range unless the raising player is playing like a maniac. Good luck !
I agree with you. My position relative to the open raiser definitely matters. If there is another player in the pot also, then I would tighten my range up even more. Especially if I was out of position.
 
S

Spewster

Enthusiast
Well, how would you exploit somebody who overbets the pot? How would you do it, if it was not preflop, but on the flop?

I guess you'd say..."well, I wait for a hand and stack him". So I guess this is your answer here, too.

It's all about frequencies. If he raises 8bb ten times in a row and he gets 9 folds for 1.5 each and one 3bet for 24bb, which he folds to, what's his profit?

9x1.5-8= 5.5bb.

Even if he's super tight, he's making a little profit if you consider the fact that he has to pay the blinds as well.

The strategy here would be simple:
If he's a nit, meaning he only plays a 10% range/broadways only, just avoid him and 3bet him with QQ+. Fold when he shoves untill you have AA. His size is correct for his range.

If he plays the normal range but opens 8bb+, there has to be a little adjustment:
First you must think about what happens to the potsize and how it affects the hands you play against this guy.
-> SPR as already mentioned.

TPTK/2pair goes up in value, hands that have large implied odds uch as SC's and small PP's go down in value, since you most likely are all in on the turn, so it doesn't make sense to draw.

Your preflop range against this guy is also only broadways and PP's from TT+, BUT your calling range is 0%
You either 3bet him in position or don't even bother playing against him. The worst thing you can do against overbets is capping your range by calling his bet.

Cause what will happen? He raises 8bb, you call 8bb, pot is now 17.5bb. He cbets 8bb and you cannot call, because SPR is too low for draws and you hit TPTK only 34% of the time. So you fold 7 times and lose 56bb and win 21bb when you hit....asumed that he checks the turn and folds your bet every time you hit. So calling and playing hit or miss on the flop in a 3bet pot is not very smart.

You better 3bet him with your range and make him cap his range by calling OOP, force him to shove (were you can just fold) or fold and you get the pot.

However, as mentioned, that does only work if his range is too large for his betsize. If he only plays AQo+, AJs+ and JJ+, it's better to avoid him entirely untill you have AA or KK. He won't play often enough to bother you and 3betting him frequently will hurt you more than him.
But if you see him playing 78s+, small PP's or Axs with that betsize, you can start 3betting him with broadways and check out his folding rate. If he folds a lot, add bluffs to your 3bets, if he calls a lot, increase your cbet frequency but reduce size from 1/2pot to 1/3 pot. In case he starts 4betting light, don't start 5betting, but shove AKo or better.

I haven't seen a lot of those players recently, but I know some of them. the logic is to increase PFR size to get less callers and multiway pots. This or someone just is an aggro donk and want's to start a pissing contest preflop. In this case, wait for premium and shove once he 3bets ;)
 
8bod8

8bod8

Legend
By randomly I meant that that's their standard open raise size. Or at least they would consistently open raise larger than at least 6bb everytime. It was just annoying because I was unsure how to play against it. Though now I suppose you just generally play tighter.
Basically you tighten your range, as the likely amount to pay to see a flop can be large (big part of your stack, so you need a high likelyhood of winning the hand).
 
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