# Never Fear The Big Raise

#### t1riel

##### Legend
Silver Level
Here's my second article that I'm attemtping. You all remember my first one "Beyond the Top Ten Starting hands." Enjoy:

Never Fear The Big Raise
When you sit at a poker table, there will be some raises that make you fold your hand instantly if you don't have good hand. Basically, it scares some players away. It's a good move to fold in some cases. However, you need to examine the amount of the raise to determine whether the raiser has a good hand of not. A big raise is designed to "scare players away." If the raiser had a great hand, why would he/she want to scare players away? Usually, players with a great hand don't want to raise it too much because they want some action and more chips added to the pot. They also want some players to fold to increase their chance or winning. Let's look at some examples to explain what I mean.

Preflop examples:

a) There are eight players and you are dealt Kh, 10c in middle position with average amount of chips. Two players call the Big Blind (which is \$200). You call. Two players fold after you. The player on the button raises it to 2,000. That's 10x the big blind! Immediately, everyone folds.
Now, the raiser made a huge raise and is about average in chips. Not knowing much about the player, the raiser did this for two reasons. One, he/she is in great position. Two, he wants to steal the blinds. Why? There are many explanations. The raiser was dealt a garbage hand but since the big blind wasn't raised, he/she figured to take advantage of the position. You could call the raise and hope the flop goes in your favor. Most players don't want to take that chance. This is how some players start building up their stack. I guess it's up to you if you want to call or not. You know the saying, "No guts, no glory."

b) There are eight players with the blinds (100/200). You are the button with average chip stack. You are dealt 9c, 9s. You raise it to 800 total which is 4x the big blind. Small blind calls. The big bling re-raises it to 3,200 total which is 4x what you raised. Everyone folds until it comes to you. What do you do now? Now, pocket nines are a good hand but is it good enough to call the raise? Hell, if you're going to call that you might as well push all in!
The Big Blind is in good position and raised it to a fairly large amount. Besides the fact that this player could be very loose, there are other explanations. The Big Blind already has 200 committed and only has to call 400 more. Now, if the Big Blind wanted to steal the blinds with a garbage hand, it won't be wise to do it now considering the raise made by you. However, the big blind might want to raise it to a high amount that would hopefully get you to fold. That being said, the Big Blind probably has a decent hand but probably not as good as yours. This would be a logical reason. The Big BLind is putting you in a difficult position. Do you want to put most, if not all, your chips on the line with pocket nines. Some players would, others wouldn't.

Post-flop examples:

a) You are the button with Ac, Kc. The blinds are 50/100 with egiht players on the table. Early position players fold and one mid-position player calls. One Late position player calls. You raise it to 600. Small blind folds. The Big Blind calls. Everyone else folds except for the late position player. The flop comes:

Qh, 10c, Qc.

The late position player checks. You bet 400. The big blind raises it to 2800. Big Re-raise here. You could call or maybe all in with straight and flsuh draws. You and the Big Blind have average amount of chips. What could the Big Blind be holding? You can rule out Q, 10 because he/she wouldn't have raised that much, if at all, with the nut full house. The big blind could have a queen or even a ten which could be a possibility. The big blind probably suspects there are some flush and straight draws out there since he/she is up against two players. As most players would tell you, three of a kind diminishes in value when two or more suits are on the flop. Would you chase the straight or flush? The big blind is forcing you to make the decision. At best, one out of the two will fold.
The big blind could have nothing or be in the same situation as you with flush or straight draws. The raise does make you think about the Big Blind's hand. He/she could have missed the flop completely but doesn't want you to think that. It's possible he/she wants you to think that he/she got a good hit on the flop. It's decision time and everyone's waiting. Call, All In, of Fold? Come on! We haven't got all day!

b) You are the button and dealt Qs, Jc. Eight players on the table and the blinds are 50/100. Early position players fold. One mid-position player and one late position player calls. You raise it to 400. The small blind folds. The big blind raises it to 800. Everyone folds except for one mid-position player and you who calls. You figure you already have 400 committed and it's a minimum reraise. Let's see the flop:

Qh, Jc, As.

Mid-position player checks and you bet 500. The big blind calls as well as the mid-position player. The turn:

9h.

Mid-position player checks. You bet 800. The blgi blind raises it to 3000. Whoa! Where did that come from? You are already in a dilemma. You have two pair. But there is an Ace on the board and a straight draw. The big blind could have hit the straight with K, 10 or 10, 8 (well, he/she was in the blig blind). There is also a flush possiblity. Or maybe he has pocket nines and wants to scare away anyone who's chasing the straight or flush. He/she put you in a position to make a tough decision (hey, that rhymes!). The big blind obviously has a good hand with the calls until the turn. What do you do then?

My point of this article is if a player makes a BIG rai, don't automatically think they have the nut hand or a great hand. Sure, you have tough decisions to make but if you make the right choice, the rewards will be excellent.

By: Timothy Riel

#### Osmann

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
Good post, but I don't agree with your preflop decisions. It may be the places I play but big raises often mean big hands to me.

a) There are eight players and you are dealt Kh, 10c in middle position with average amount of chips. Two players call the Big Blind (which is \$200). You call. Two players fold after you. The player on the button raises it to 2,000. That's 10x the big blind! Immediately, everyone folds.
Now, the raiser made a huge raise and is about average in chips. Not knowing much about the player, the raiser did this for two reasons. One, he/she is in great position. Two, he wants to steal the blinds. Why? There are many explanations. The raiser was dealt a garbage hand but since the big blind wasn't raised, he/she figured to take advantage of the position. You could call the raise and hope the flop goes in your favor. Most players don't want to take that chance. This is how some players start building up their stack. I guess it's up to you if you want to call or not. You know the saying, "No guts, no glory."

This is already a big pot, why don't take it down immeately? He could easely be having hands like JJ, QQ, KK or KA. I would often raise this much to win an already big pot with theese great, but vulnerable hands. He may also have a garbage hand, but he has position, so if you don't hit anything on the flop he will probably take down the now even bigger pot with a bet. If you hit a pair, you will have to worry about being outkicked or him having a bigger pair, so basicly the thing you are looking for is a straight or two pair. What I'm trying to say, is what twizzy often says:" if you're not willing to raise preflop, why would you call a preflop raise?
If you made the preflop raise, it would have been a completely different situation, and you probably wouldn't have faced this tough desicion.

b) There are eight players with the blinds (100/200). You are the button with average chip stack. You are dealt 9c, 9s. You raise it to 800 total which is 4x the big blind. Small blind calls. The big bling re-raises it to 3,200 total which is 4x what you raised. Everyone folds until it comes to you. What do you do now? Now, pocket nines are a good hand but is it good enough to call the raise? Hell, if you're going to call that you might as well push all in!
The Big Blind is in good position and raised it to a fairly large amount. Besides the fact that this player could be very loose, there are other explanations. The Big Blind already has 200 committed and only has to call 400 more. Now, if the Big Blind wanted to steal the blinds with a garbage hand, it won't be wise to do it now considering the raise made by you. However, the big blind might want to raise it to a high amount that would hopefully get you to fold. That being said, the Big Blind probably has a decent hand but probably not as good as yours. This would be a logical reason. The Big BLind is putting you in a difficult position. Do you want to put most, if not all, your chips on the line with pocket nines. Some players would, others wouldn't.

This is a definate fold to me, because at best you are looking at a coinflip. I agree that he has the best position, because he can bet all in first after the flop, so it's either a fold or an all-in move by you. I'm just to affraid he has a higher pair than you. You tried to steal the blinds with a decent hand, but failed. He made a good move, so face it and move on. There's deffinately a better place to gamble with your chips.

S

#### shwingzilla

##### Enthusiast
Silver Level
t1riel said:

Post-flop examples:

a) You are the button with Ac, Kc. The blinds are 50/100 with egiht players on the table. Early position players fold and one mid-position player calls. One Late position player calls. You raise it to 600. Small blind folds. The Big Blind calls. Everyone else folds except for the late position player. The flop comes:

Qh, 10c, Qc.

The late position player checks. You bet 400. The big blind raises it to 2800. Big Re-raise here. You could call or maybe all in with straight and flsuh draws. You and the Big Blind have average amount of chips. What could the Big Blind be holding? You can rule out Q, 10 because he/she wouldn't have raised that much, if at all, with the nut full house. The big blind could have a queen or even a ten which could be a possibility. The big blind probably suspects there are some flush and straight draws out there since he/she is up against two players. As most players would tell you, three of a kind diminishes in value when two or more suits are on the flop. Would you chase the straight or flush? The big blind is forcing you to make the decision. At best, one out of the two will fold.
The big blind could have nothing or be in the same situation as you with flush or straight draws. The raise does make you think about the Big Blind's hand. He/she could have missed the flop completely but doesn't want you to think that. It's possible he/she wants you to think that he/she got a good hit on the flop. It's decision time and everyone's waiting. Call, All In, of Fold? Come on! We haven't got all day!

I'm actually going to agree with you, but the situation was interesting to me, so here's it more in depth.

His supposed big re-raise is actually not all that large, in fact it is just above pot size (by 50 if my math is right). It's a bet just large enough to get rid of flush/straight chasers. So I would say he has a Queen or a Ten, but not both. The player could be making it on a flush or straight draw, but I think that is less likely. Obviously if he's making it on a flush or straight draw, you fold. If he has Queen anything (besides ten or queen) your pot odds are just about the same as your odds to call. Ten anything (besides queen or ten) you are ahead in the hand.

My only problem with this example is why am I betting post flop 400? the pot is almost 2000 chips. Every hand except absolute crap has to call here (1:7 pot odds), so I'm not getting any information with this bet. And I want at least one hand to fold, I don't want to be chasing a draw, even a good one, when there two other players in the pot with me, and the pot is already so large. (specifically I want to get out any other chasers, and hands like JJ, Tanything, 99 etc) I would bet about 1000 here (or raise all in, depending on how big my stack is). This is half pot, so you'll get rid of a lot of threats, in fact you will likely take down the pot right there. The only hands that dominate you at this point are QT, QQ, and TT, and you've got a coinflip with JJ, KK, and AA. Are you all that worried about your opponent possessing one of six possible hands that could beat you? (the pot odds are hugely in your favor with JJ,KK, and AA anyways).

#### t1riel

##### Legend
Silver Level
You make some good points there. My main point is in the last sentence of the article. I probably should have made the raises larger to prove my point. Well, it is a first draft so there are bound to be a few erros and inconsistent details.

M

#### MercilessKiller

##### Rock Star
Silver Level
The theory behind that post is fantastic. Realistically its a load of bollox

Reason being.. when playing poker online (or even live in casino's) you don't really know who's played a lot, who takes it seriously, who thinks like the pro's. Due to this I have seen MANY "fish" go all in when they've hit their flush/straight anything on the river, and obviously other people think this is a scare bet.. yet it isn't.

The same happens pre flop. Many-a-time in the games I host (University students ), there are plenty of fish that raise big with good hands... very very tight aggressive players but not mixing enough...

Due to this, i agree with your post but only if you respect the player who's making the raise.

Good players may also manipulate it to make you think they're scaring you away. Take the film "rounders" for example when he over bet the pot purposly so he'd get a call.. worked a treat

Anyway.. ye just my thoughts