Contact us


Hand Selection and Pre-flop Play

The other additional questions against a maniac before the flop are what kinds of hands to play and how to play poker several players do have a poor hand selection at this place. For example, when sitting to the maniac's left, many worry that his raising with so many hands will force them out of too many pots. So they select to loosen up on their cold calls and just play for two bets against his raise with any hand they would generally limp in with, while re-raising with their best hands. While this approach may be correct with some hands in some games, against some extreme pre-flop maniacs who become more passive and play weakly after the flop, more clear hand selection is truly required, especially in an early position. The simple "overlook his raises" approach reduces their failure to consider the maniac's effects on the other players in the game, and to increase their thinking to play after the flop.

You should also think in the ring games about the maniac's play in the context of the ring game. If you play too many hands against the maniac in early positions, in a game containing skilled aggressive players, you may find that it won't matter that your starting hands are better on average than the maniac's. When tough players re-raise behind you it will cost you three bets to play average hands, played between a maniac and a tough player. In the game without the playing maniac, you can limp in with those hands but have to pay only two bets to see the flop when someone raises and would not have to compete with both a maniac and a tough player.

The number of hands you play against a maniac should be encouraged by the assessment of the other players in the game. How aggressive are they? How much deceptive? How much do they accord your raises? How are they reacting to the maniac? How do they you are reacting to the maniac? Are other players getting caught up in the maniac's action and calling loosely behind you, even for two or three bets? Such kind of questions will play a significant role in hand selection decisions.

It is essential to consider the implications of the maniac's play after the flop. Playing many poker hands do not play well heads-up after the flop against a maniac's persistent, aggressive style of play. This is another reason to often avoid playing hands like


in an early position behind a maniac's raise. (An exception can be in an otherwise loose, passive game in which you can surely expect several callers, but not re-raisers behind you if you call.) Instead you have to move into hand selection towards hands that can go to the river with the full chance of winning in an early position, those hands include


As your position improves you can add additional reading poker hands containing aces or kings and little smaller pocket pairs. You should play these hands by re-raising to isolate the maniac, playing him heads-up after the flop. It means that you will be playing more hands against maniac's raises than you would against the raises of a "normal" player. But be aware of not making common mistake of going too far beyond. You will not be giving up much and may save more, if you always fold a hand like

behind a maniac's raise irrespective of your position, just as you would against any other player.
What you are doing here is profitable as you are constantly creating a big hand strength differential by pitting your good hands only against the maniac's (on average) weak hands. Nevertheless, you do this by knocking other players out, which you achieve through the act of investing more money (by re-raising) in that hand strength differential.

Playing against the maniacs who raises with almost every hand, but then become more passive after the flop, you can start adding more hands like T9 and QT stated above. But for the other part, unless you are an expert and are playing against a maniac who plays badly after the flop, and are against an otherwise soft lineup, I indicate you add these hands only in later positions. Even then, you should restrict your play of such hands to those times when other online poker players have limped in front of the maniac (and you do not want them to re-raise him) so that a multi-way

pot is surely to win. In my experience only a small number of maniacs fit into this deception (loose and aggressive before the flop and then later more passive). When you actually play such hands, however, you should not purposely re-raise, especially if anyone has come in ahead of the maniac. Such hands play well multi-way, and sometimes by calling the maniac you avoid punishing him so seriously for his raising that he begins to play better. His unnecessary raise does give you with a profitable opportunity.

One other reason to get the pot heads-up, ignored by many players, is that more skilled maniac can be proficient at powering his hand on the later street by raising the third player's bets. The effect would be to knock you out when you hold the best hand. By playing heads-up, you withdraw him by at least taking the pot no limit away from you.

Again reiterated, the conditions can be different from those which I have illustrated here. There are other circumstances, for instance, when it makes sense not to re-raise the maniac. If you several seats to his left and players come in between the two of you, you cannot make the same use of the re-raise that I have discussed here. Even on his immediate left, for instance, in a game in which many players have been calling two bets with anything they would normally limp in with. Calling here will let you pick up many players to pay you off if you hit a big draw. Furthermore, it alleviates the problem of punishing the maniac so often that he can adjust his game.

Though it is more important to consider, I have tried to give a good sample of things you should ascertain about in order to understand in any depth how to play before the flop against a maniac. The main reason to be cautious with the proper hand selection against a maniac is that it goes much beyond towards keeping you out of tough points after the flop. Next essay is addressed playing against a maniac after the flop of the poker game.

Continue Here: On Into The Storm: Playing The maniac After The Flop

©copyright 2005-06, all Rights Reserved, www.poker.tj