Holdem FAQ: First Two Cards

Live Blinds

From here the following questions assume that you are in one of the blind positions.

1. If no one else has raised, what hands should you raise with from the big blind?
You should raise only with very good hands.

2. Will you raise with very good hands against one or two aggressive rivals who have just called?
No. Your correct play is generally to call.

3. Why is this correct play?
It is correct play because you can try for a check-raise.

4. Do you have to hit your hand for the check-raise to be correct?
No, you just need to be fairly sure that the flop did not help anyone.

5. If you have AK in the big blind and are called by only one or two players in the last position, what should you do?
You should raise.

6. When is the other time that it is sometimes correct to raise in the big blind?
You can raise when several people have called and you hold a hand like JT's, A5s or a small pair.

7. If there is a raise to your right with which hands you can call in the big blind?
You can call only with your better hands.

8. What is the problem with such calling?
Someone on your left might re-raise.

9. But if there are many players in the pot?
You should play more hands especially hands that have the possibility to make a good hand.

10. Will you call a raise out of the big blind with a hand like 54?
No.

11. Would it be fine if this hand was suited?
Yes.

12. To make the calls profitable what do you need?
You need at least two ways to win.

13. What if your cards were higher?
You might win if you make a pair after the flop.

14. When is it correct to call with a small unsuited connecting hand?
If you are against weak players who will not achieve maximum from you when you flop a draw but who will often pay off if you has something good.

15. When the pot is raised early what kind of hands are demanded more?
Hands like AJ, AT, KJ and KT.

16. Why is this so?
They can easily make the second best hands that you will have to pay off all the way.

17. How many players do you need to call with a small pair?
You need at least two.

18. With which hand you should re-raise with?
You should re-raise with hands such as AA or KK.

19. What if you are in the big blind and are against a possible steal-raise?
You can call with hands as weak as those in Group 8.

20. What if someone calls in between you and your rival or if your rival plays well?
You should tighten up some; Groups 1-6.

21. What about when you are in the small blind and are against a possible steal-raise?
You can play Groups 1-6 but you should almost always re-raise.

22. What is the main reason of this re-raise?
The reason is to drive the big blind out of the pot.

23. What if someone else has already called the raise?
This play is generally wrong.

24. What if the pot is not raised and you are in the big blind?
If it costs only half a bet to call, still somewhat selective of the hands you play. If it costs only one-third of a bet, every hand should be played.

25. What is the exception?
The exception is if the big blind is the habitual raiser. Now you must fold more often.

26. If no one has raised, the pot is short-handed, you are in the small blind and the big blind decides to call your raise, what hands should you raise with?
You should raise only with your best hands.

27. What if the big blind folds a lot?
You can raise with many more hands.

28. What if no one raised, the pot is multi-way and you are in the small blind?
You can raise only with hands that are either very strong or some hands that play well multi-way.

29. What if you are the big blind, everyone has folded and the big blind throws away too many hands?
You should raise often.

30. Give an example?
Everyone has passed and you hold A6 in the little blind. You should call often. However, if the big blind folds a lot, or folds too much on the flop, you should always raise.

31. What if you are in the big blind, everyone passes to the small blind and he raises. What will you do?
You need to call enough so that the player in the small blind does not show an automatic profit.

32. But what if you come to know that the player in the small blind has high raising standards?
You should fold your weaker hands in such a case.

Continue with: FAQ: Holdem Semi Bluffing