Small blind Strategy: Raised and Limped Pots
Learn to plus in limped and raised pots?
Last time we talked about playing when you are the first player to enter the game, but let's go further. What about limped and raised pots?
If several players entered the pot with a limp, play loose. If you are not sure in your game after the flop, fold the weakest hands. Don’t limp behind. It would be hard to realize your equity with a weak hand out of position versus several players, but suited hands are good enough to continue.
You can choose between limp behind and iso-raise. When you choose between two options, answer three questions:
- What is in your opponent's limping range?
- How often he folds to raise?
- How often he folds to c-bet and barreling?
To fight for the pot, look for the opponents with such stats:
- Wide opening limp range
- Frequent limp/fold
- High fold to aggression frequency
The principle of playing versus several limpers are the same, but your range becomes tighter. The more limpers, the narrower the range.
When you choose limp behind, build your strategy according to the rivalry. Don’t overplay second and third pairs, but at the same time don’t give up to aggression without a good fight. Pay attention to the table dynamics and stats.
The most typical spot on the small blind is a raised pot. Now you have three options: call, fold or 3-bet
On small blind, you are always out of position. So, playing your premium hands with a 3-bet is usually the best line. There is an exception. Play premium hand with a call if you know that your opponent from the big blind is a fan squeezes (cold 3-bet after raise and call).
Construct your 3-bet range wisely, it should consist not only from premium holdings but from suited broadways, middle off-suited aces, and weak suited aces.
Estimate the range of your opponent. Pay attention to his fold to 3bet frequency. If your rival folds to 3-bet too often, widen your 3-bet range. To increase the chances to get a fold, use the power of blockers. Blockers are high cards, that reduce the chance, that villain has something strong. For example, if you have , the chance of your opponent holding kings or AK is a bit lower.
On late stages of the tournaments, when the effective stacks fall below 40 BB, playing in 3-bet pots becomes odd. That’s why many regular players open wide from late positions but have a high fold to 3-bet frequency. Making a 3-bet, keep in mind how often your opponent folds to c-bets and postflop aggression
This hand comes from the final bubble. The stats of the opponent: VPIP/PFR 33/24, TOT Fold to 3Bet 40, Flop Fold To CB 60.
High PFR means that opponent opens loose. He has a balanced fold to 3bet range but gives up to c-bets too often. He has 25 BB in his stack. It would be hard for him to play postflop. And don’t forget that you have a blocker. So, the chances that 3-bet works are high. Even if the opponent calls you preflop, you can take the pot with a small c-bet.
If the villain has perfect calling 3-bet range, protect medium hands with a call and exploit wide c-bet range. You can do it either with check-raise or check-call and lead on a turn.
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