Online Poker Calling Preflop Raises

This article will mainly focus on identifying spots where you should call pre flop raises both in position and out of position. I am not talking about limping in this article, I am talking about when someone raises in front of you and you decide to call. For clarity and ease of use the article has been divided into two portions, playing in position and playing out of position. It is also assumed that you will be playing with 100big blind deep stacks, playing with shorter stacks or larger stacks will influence the playability of all of the hands mentioned in this article.

In position:

Suited connectors: Position is the main requirement needed to play hands like suited connectors, the reason for this is you will frequently flop some kind of equity with a hand like 56 suited, you may flop bottom pair and a backdoor flush draw, or backdoor straight draw. In this spot you will usually want to continue onto the turn. Position will make this profitable, playing suited connectors out of position will not be profitable.

Pocket pairs: I will frequently flat all pocket pairs in position that I am not 3-betting for value with the intention to get allin, frequently this will be pocket 22-TT. Sometimes I will flat JJ and QQ pre flop because they are not strong enough to get allin. Sometimes I will also flat hands like AA and KK pre flop when there are aggressive players or shortstackers behind with the intention of inducing a squeeze. Medium pairs are somewhat more valuable than small pairs, often times you will have a middle pair with 88-TT and will be able to call a bet on the flop in position. Small pairs I will frequently just fold when my opponents continuation bets and I do not flop a set.

Suited broadway + offsuited broadway: In the same vain as suited connectors I will frequently flat all suited broadway in position. I will do a lot of floating with pairs and backdoor draws, I will often raise continuation bets in position when I flop overcards with suited broadway. So for example, cuttof raises preflop and I flat QJs on the button. Flop comes down 278 with 1 of my suit, this is a great spot to raise a continuation bet. I will fold my weaker off suited broadway such as QJ QT AT if the raise comes from early position, I will defend a bit wider vs late position raises when I am the button, so QJo will frequently become a call vs a cuttoff raise but a fold vs an EP raise. I will frequently flat QK AQ in position. I will almost always 3-bet AK suited and offsuit.

Suited aces: Suited aces are powerful hands because they allow you to semi bluff with the nut flush draw and make you harder to play against. You will be able to flat most suited aces in position and play then in a similar way to suited broadway and suited connectors by bluffraising in certain spots (For example, you have one overcard, backdoor flush draw and a gutshot with a4 suited on the flop, these are great spots to bluff raise or float the flop)

Dynamics: The crux of your flatting range in position will be implied odds hands like suited connectors, pairs and suited broadway. Because this range is not super strong I recommend flatting stronger off suited broadways so you will not have to fold on high boards. If your frequently getting squeezed or have aggressive players to your left, I recommend doing 2 things 1) Eliminating some of your flatting range to avoid creating dead money preflop 2) Start slowplaying big hands preflop like Aces or Kings so that you can backraise or trap when you get squeezed. You may also want to consider just jamming small pairs allin over a 3-bet against aggressive 3-bettors.

Out of position

When playing out of position, I am frequently talking about playing from the blinds. I wrote a great article about it so I suggest you check that out.

Vs late position openers I recommend that you flat hands like suited broadway and medium pairs. You will frequently want to fold smaller pairs out of position because you wont be able to play them profitably against regulars. If the pot is multiway or you are up against a weak player you can justify playing more implied odds hands such as small pairs, suited connectors and suited aces, you will usually want to just fold these hands though out of position.

I recommend that you 3-bet your large offsuited broadway hands such as AK KQ AQ KJ vs steals because your opponents will often call with worse hands in position. Again, I wrote a great article about 3-betting in position and out of position, you may want to check that out!

Finally, against early position opens I recommend that you play very tight from the blinds and have almost no flatting range. You can consider flatting all pocket pairs now to set mine because your opponent is likely to have a stronger range which will pay you off when you make your set. Hands such as ace queen suited may be too strong to fold so will frequently be a call, also hands like AK QQ and JJ may become too strong to fold but not good enough to 3-bet and get allin preflop against an early position raise.

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