Holdem Heads-Up Versus Multi-Way

Remember that many interesting plays we have been discussing about do not work well when you are against a lot of rivals. To make such kind of plays in multi-way holdem pots will cost you money in the long run. Particularly against many rivals you should slow-play less, if at all, semi-bluff less, avoid bluffing - especially on the end against more than two rivals - and avoid persuading bluffs with checks that give free cards.

However, with many players in the pot, your implied odds have increased. This means that you are much more suitable to play and even raise with small pairs, suited connectors and hands like:

On the other hand, when you are holding big unsuited cards, your rivals are getting implied odds from you. Hence, it is wrong to raise with unsuited high cards in multi-way pots and it also me correct to fold hands like AT, KT and even AJ and KJ.

Suppose if you hold

on the button and five or six players have limped in, you should strongly consider folding. Raising with this hand - which is a mistake often made by starting players - will cost you money in the long run. Even calling would be wrong for all but the best poker players.

Many hands are played differently on the flop depending on the size of the pot and the number of players in the pot. For example you start with

And the flop comes

And the player on your right bets into you. If the pot is small you may only want to call. This is because the bettor may already have you beat and if you raise you won't lose someone who has flopped a four-flush. You will likely knock out hands like middle pair or a four-flush. if the pot is big you would not want to make this raise since anyone holding these hands may now be getting the correct odds to call.

You should adjust your play if you flop a draw. Suppose in the above hand you had two small diamonds instead of the AK. As discussed earlier if the pot is small and you are first to act you should bet out in the expectation that you might win the pot. If the pot is big, it might be correct to check and expect that the bet comes on your left then you can check-raise and contribute a big pot. (However, this play is not suggested in tough games. This is because you are more likely to be up against a bigger flush draw. And it is also because in tough games the initial bettor is more likely to re-raise.) If the late position player bets then you should just call and allow the other players in behind you.


Continue: Texas Holdem Raising