Min-Raising pre-flop in N/L Holdem

tenbob

tenbob

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AAAGGGHHHHHH folks this is a big bone for me at the moment. AND ive seen it in cardschat buy-ins on more that one occasion.

First off we need to know the REASON for a raise. We raise in order to elimnate players pre-flop. We all know that high pocket pairs play poorly in a multi-way pot. So we raise in order to eliminate players, or if it comes to it, take it down there and then.

So you pick up pocket kings on the button in the early stages of a sit and go. The blinds are cheap and there are lots of limpers, a min raise will do NOTHING but sweeten the pot for the eventual winner of the hand, which will more than likely not be you because you forgot to eliminate the limpers.

Case in point last night in a live game i was on the BB with Q 8 o/s. Lots of limpers and a player thats 'beginning' to realise the importance of position min-raised with AKs from the button. Small raise to me, and realising that all of the limpers will call, I take a look at whats going to be a big pot. Flop comes AQQ. Now the min raiser is in serious trouble without realising it. The turn was an 8, and the river a K, giving me the boat, the button top 2 pair, and letting me double up, on a hand i had no business playing. WHY ? Because the button forgot to raise properly. He should have raised 3xBB (+1 for EVERY LIMPER). I would have folded the Q and he more than likely would have won the pot.

Ok, so when is a min raise pre-flop the corrrect play ? Very few times to be honest. Heads-up when you pick up AA in the small blind springs to mind. When the blinds are HUGE, and I mean HUGE. But really as a rule dont do it.

The moral of the story, STOP min-raising pre-flop folks, its weak poker and you deserve to get your aces cracked for doing it.
 
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twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
The moral of the story, STOP min-raising pre-flop folks, its weak poker and you deserve to get your aces cracked for doing it.

Agreed, thats how I got a set of 2's to crack KK's. However though no matter what, occasionally you are going to get those who limp in. Well they'll still call every now and then your stronger pre-flop raise with the Q,8 suited.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Every action you make in poker, should have a conscious reason behind it. I've mentioned this before, but the trick is to "verbalize" what you're doing and why. "I'm going to raise, because..." In the case of no-limit, say "I'm going to raise precisely <x> because that should be just enough to accomplish..."

There are very few times where a minimum raise will accomplish any of the things that one might hope will happen when raising.

I'm mostly just repeating exactly what TB said here, but the thing I really wanted to stress is the importance of verbalizing your decisions: Don't just act on impulse. If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, it's typically better to just check.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
This has to be the silliest play in poker yet it happens constantly. If a limper calls 10 or 20 chips they're going to call 20 or 40 chips as well. Also, the old 4xBB raise is just not enough when the blinds are low - it does not put the pressure on to force a fold. I've been accused of overbetting on more than one occasion; however, a raise of 80 (when the BB is 20) does nothing to push out marginal hands. While a raise of 300-400 seems like overkill (25xBB or so) it will at least make folks think. I screwed up exactly this way in a CC SNG last night - I only reraised 4x the previous raise and it wasn't enough to force a fold so my pocket pair of 8s got whipped by a Q-7 offsuit. Now there's always a possibility that even an allin raise won't force anyone out but you at least have to give the callers something to worry about...
 
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C

colin_147

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Very good post Tenbob, some rep for you

No doubt min raise is one of the most stupid plays you can make, ESPECIALLY when you have a lot of limpers. I will raise minimum of 4 or 5 x the BB, regardless of the blinds. Whenever you have lots of limpers, you are bound to get 1 or 2 callers, even with a big raise. Dont even think about limping in with a big hand hoping to slow play, get your raise in and push the limpers out

I am all for limping in with a rubbish hand if its worth it, but I will never limp into a pot with a premium hand, its asking for trouble and bad players do this more than they should, especially with mid pockets
 
t1riel

t1riel

Legend
Great post! I agree with you 100%. Some players that I know love to slow play high pocket pairs (Queens, Kings, Aces) with a weak raise perflop. What they don't realize is a big raise i smeant to get some players out of the pot. The more players you have in the pot, the lower the percentage you have of winning becuase someone might catch a straight or flush and you still have your "precious" high pocket pair. They pay a big price becuase of this.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
tenbob said:
Ok, so when is a min raise pre-flop the corrrect play ?

On a very tight tournament table where minraising is enough to steal blinds. Otherwise it's stupid, for reasons that have already been stated.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

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I guess it's up to me to be the contrarian. First off, I rarely min raise; for all the reasons mentioned already. It just doesn't scare anyone away who's already in the pot. But! I won't go so far as to say it's stupid. Here's 3reasons why.
Reason #1. I just hate it when some nucklehead in EP thinks he can limp in with the same hand he plays from LP. Consistently raising, even the min, is a statement to anyone in EP with a marginal starting hand that they they're not going to get in that cheaply. Raising doesn't only increase the pot size, it increases the quality of play.
Reason #2. Low pairs play well in multi way pots where 1 in 7 times you'll make your set. If your getting 6:1 odds for a small pot what's wrong with 6:1 for a big pot. Careful here though. You may be encouraging someone to come over the top. Then what?
Reason #3. Often the button will play with almost anything just because he's last to act. Sometimes even a min raise from the CO is enough to buy you position. If it doesn't then you haven't risked much.

You may all now commence with the tossing of tomatoes and the brandishing of pitchforks.
 
~~Shelynn~~

~~Shelynn~~

Legend
OK you all make very good points on this but say your low stacked and all limp in is it OK to go and try to catch a cheap flop to see if theirs a chance for yourself to play,say your holding a 9-10 and you limp in with them. I know it might sound stupid,but this has happened to me and have hit paydirt. Advise please
 
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