Tight Games and Very Tight Games

Power Hands

In tight or very tight games, high card values are the important pre-flop hand value.

Dominated Power Hands

The dominated power hands should be played perceptively in tight and very tight games. Other conditions matter with these hands, however. There is little risk with these hands at tight-passive or very tight-passive tables than at more aggressively tables. This is because you will be called with worse hands and not raised with better hands if the game is passive. If you do catch a flop like Q73 with QT and get raised by a tight-passive player after you bet the flop, you can fold if the pot is not very large, knowing that you are surely beaten.

However, in an aggressive games, it would be very tough to be sure that the lay down would be right because a very aggressive player is likely to be raising with a hand like A3. Because of the likelihood of being tackled with that kind of difficult decision in a very aggressive game, the dominated power hands should be prevented in a tight-very aggressive, very tight-aggressive, or very tight-very aggressive game.

Drawing Hands

Drawing hands do not yield much value in tight or very tight games. Even in passive games, you won't make much money when the hands are best and you will lose more money when the hands aren't best. The odds just aren't there.

Speculative and Gambling Hands

The speculative and gambling hands depend on getting odds to have any value. They are not favorites but can be profitable if you are getting good enough odds. In tight games you won't get enough pot odds for these hands so they are playable in situations when the implied odds are large.
Tight-Passive Games and Speculative-Gambling Hands

Against passive players the big-little suited hands such as A7 or even Q5 have semi-bluff value, especially from late position. A semi-bluff with a hand like A7 and the flop like T73 often wins the pot against a tight-passive player and even if it doesn't win, you will often have the best hand anyway; even when you don't have the best hand, you have many cards that can improve your hand on the turn.

Tight-Aggressive Games and Speculative-Gambling Hands

At a very aggressive tight table, the big-little speculative and gambling hands should be avoided but the small-suited connector hands of those categories do tend to play well. One tendency of very aggressive players at a tight table is to overplay big overcards. Against many kinds of players, your implied odds with a hand like 54 are fairly large, even if you have to call a raise to see the flop. These very aggressive players are often willing to put in extra bets on the flop and the turn with hands as weak as AQ and a flop like 965.

Tight Games with Many Callers

Even at a tight table, you will confront situations where four or five players see the flop. When that happens, many of the drawing hands and speculative hands become playable from late position not all of them, however.

When four or five tight players are playing in the pot, the high card value of a hand such as KJ diminishes considerably. The chances that one of these players has a hand like KQ or AJare almost good. The probabilities of KJ against either of those hands aren't very good.

It is different situation when you have four or five loose callers. We shall discuss the situation later on. When you have tight players in the pot, even four or five of them, you should be thinking about the hand value from a domination perspective first, then from an odds perspective. The difference between having a KJ and KJ can be very crucial in this situation.

Loose And Very Loose Games

Dominating Power Hands

Dominating power hands are strong hands under any conditions and should be played judiciously.

Dominated Power Hands

The dominated power hands yield some strength in loose and very loose games, but as in tight games, these hands should be played selectively if the game is aggressive or very aggressive. Even almost strong hands such as AK should be folded in an early position if the game is very aggressive. Such kinds of hand do play very well from late positions.

Drawing Hands

The drawing hands are also very strong hands in loose and very loose games. They get the needful odds and aren't as likely to run into the risk of only getting action when they are dominated, which tends to happen in tighter games.

Speculative Hands

Speculative hands have some intrinsic value in loose and very loose games. The speculative hands rely on getting good flop, and in a loose game you will normally get the right kind of odds. This is true for the suited speculative hands in loose-aggressive, loose-very aggressive and very loose-very aggressive games. This is because when you do flop a strong draw with these hands in a loose game, then you are fairly getting good bet odds on the flop, so that texas aggression on the flop works out for you.
With loose player, it is not uncommon to have four or five callers seeing the flop. In that case, some of the speculative hands like KJcan have greater high-card value. This is because unlike the last situation with four or five tight callers, loose callers are as likely to be playing J8 as AJ. A hand like KJ is not likely to be dominated by the hands of four or five loose callers as it is by four or five tight callers.

Gambling Hands

The gambling hands need the odds of a very loose game to be worth playing. In very loose games, gambling hands become worth a raise if you are sure that the raise won't cause you to lose any players.
The fact that the raise is worth in a very loose game is that players in a very loose game tend to be playing hands like Q5. In contrast with that kind of hand, a hand like K6 or even 97 is powerful hand when you are in late position.

When the game conditions are loose for playing the gambling hands, you will often get the right price to raise with hands you normally wouldn't raise with. You want to raise with hands where the chances of winning poker are larger than the odds you are getting on the bet. For example, if the hand figures to win about 20 percent of the time then you profit from a raise if you get more than four callers.

The below table indicates the number of callers needed for a raise with gambling hands.

NUMBER OF VERY LOOSE CALLERS NEEDED TO RAISE ON THE BUTTON
Callers
Pairs
Ax's
Kxs
Qxs
Jxs
Txs
4
7,7
A9
KT
QT
5
6,6
A2
K9
Q9
J9
T9
6
4,4
A2
K6
Q7
J7
T8
7
2,2
A2
K2
Q5
J6
T7


Loose Aggressive Games and Suited Aces

When the game is very loose and very aggressive, suited cards are likely to gain value. This is true of hands like A6. This is the kind of hand that is best when it flops a draw, and in a loose poker games, the odds you will be getting on the flop are better than the odds of making the draw. Therefore you profit from callers of each bet or raise that you make on the flop.

It can sometimes be easy to think of a hand such as A2 as good as a hand such as A6. 6 is bigger than 2, but you might think that because both kickers are pretty small, the added value of possible straights makes A2 just as good, or perhaps even better hand. Do not think that. It is not true.

It is true that under some conditions, A5 does, on the average, make a little more money than A6. This difference is related to the straight possibilities of the A5 and only little difference in high-card value between a 5 and a 6. The game conditions for this are when the game is very loose and very passive and you are in a late position. Under such circumstances, you will get a cheap or free draw to an inside straight often enough to give a little extra value to A6 in terms of value that the A5 does make a little more money because of the potential straights when the conditions are favorable -but the difference is little.

Typical Games

In typical games, the position is likely to be more of a dominant factor than in either tight or loose games. In an early position you should adhere to the dominating power hands. In later position play the dominated power hands in un-raised pots and the drawing poker hands in multi-player pots, raised or un-raised.

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