Starting Hands

diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
I am aware that a lot of us have very different styles of play when it comes to NLHE. These styles dictate what hands we play and how we play them. Lets assume for the sake of argument that you have position maybe one or two seats off the button. What are your gauranteed starters and how do you play them? Mine are as follows:
AA: Raise with them about 4 times the big blind.
KK: Same as AA, 4 times the BB
QQ: Same as above about 4 times the BB
AK: Usually a bet 3 times the BB, sometimes limping in then calling a raise before the flop or getting a flop for the price of the blinds
JJ, 10-10, 9-9, 8-8, 7-7, 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, and middle to high suited connectors: I will generally limp in with these hands cautiously. Obviously less fear with Jacks through 8's hoping to improve any of these hands on the flop or for no overcards to fall. All of the middle to low pairs have value, but also increase in risk the lower they are, so they are played accordingly. Sometimes with the lower end of the pairs, representing a big hand ill try to take down a pot so I am not bluffing with complete trash.

Anyway, I'm curious how some of you guys play starting hands, bet them, and how your list differs from mine.
 
X

xdmanx007

Legend
Good advice! I know everybody says you have to adjust your game to your opponents. The only thing that should be added is what your opponents did before you, ie raise! The one adjustment I would make in low limit ring game play is no matter what your hand if you are going to play your hand you RAISE... Smooth calling is rarely the appropriate move.
 
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pdkash

Rising Star
from the button position any 2 cards will do if no one has come in yet. I try to make raises the same amount no matter which cards I have. I try to see how much it takes to push people out and adjust from there.
 
MicheleW

MicheleW

Rock Star
Hi - I do pretty much like you Diablo, but don't calculate blind amounts. I usually go by what the table will bare - meaning how big a bet I need to make to make them fold. Sometimes at tables if the blinds are 50 and you bet 150 - they all call - so I'll bet maybe 350. It just depends on the players involved.

Also, I do as pdkash does sometimes too and will bet big no matter if I'm the only one in so far, but I like to have something to back it up a bit - not garbage. You can lose chips too easily that way with someone just calling who has a good hand.

Note taken XdmanX007. :)
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
I just use the 3 time or 4 times the BB as a general reference, depending on the table I may go a bit higher or lower to try and draw more chips. Also, Michele, in lots of situations a raise is specifically designed to run people out of the pot, but sometimes you want to keep people in and not scare them off. While taking down a pot without showing down your hand is a risk-free venture, stringing a few limpers along for one more street can earn you some extra chips.

And XD, I agree with the notion that if you're gonna play, get in there and raise. Good advice. And while this, as with everything alse in NLHE, is relative to action before its your turn to act, I was just trying to get a real general concensus. But you are 100% correct, action such as raises before your position make bringing in some hands less desireable.

And as far as my limping hand (AK), I do that seldom and only to see a chep flop and hope to improve.
 
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MicheleW

MicheleW

Rock Star
Hi Diablo - Oh, I thought you were talking about getting people out of the pot. Yes, I know if you want people to stay in then you'd bet differently. Many times with large pairs - you want to just win mainly because I'm sure you've seen AA's go down the tubes because that next card came out and you didn't bet big enough to stop the action. I know I have.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Oh, without a doubt. A made hand can go in the shiatter quick if you don't bet big enough to protect it. And yes my inital post was just how you guys play your hands, not specifically to run players out of the pot. More of a how you extract the most with each hand.
 
Bill_Hollorian

Bill_Hollorian

Rock Star
Diablo,I seewhat your saying.I general I agree, but I rarely play pockets smaller than 6's, and there are clearly postional considerations.

Bill
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
No doubt on position, that's why I referenced one or two seats off of the button when considering your starting hands. Of course the other consideration, as already stated, is action before it gets around to you such as number of callers/raisers.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
Nothing, including reading is a substitute for table time. Although even reading one book puts you ahead of 75% of other players. No substitute for actual playing time.
 
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