Winning cash game approach is built around having a good preflop strategy. We're going to show you open raising ranges and how they change depending on your position at the table.
If you are or feel to be a regtard please start reading carefully and you will improve your poker skills for sure.
Obviously you can expand your ranges we show in this article but only when you'll become a good hand reader.
First of all. never ever open limp or flat call the big blind, when you join an unraised pot.
Wanna play the hand? You got to raise it then!
Having this approach allows you have two chances to win the pot. You can have the best hand in case of showdown on the river or just continuing the aggression you showed before the flop and force your opponent to fold their hand.
Sometimes you can win the pot preflop when the others fold.
If you play passive before the flop there's no way to take advantage of all these situations.
Early position opening ranges
Your open raising range MUST be based on your position at the table.
In early position, you got to tighten your range a bit since there are 4/5 players still to play and chances they got a good hand and call/3bet you, and the only idea to play out of position is not the best in poker...remember and never forget POSITION, POSITION and still POSITION!
You should be opening 10% to 12% while playing in UTG (under the gun) position.
The range should be:
-Pocket Pairs 66+
-Some suited connectors like 89s, T9s
Note: ‘o’ means off-suit,‘s’ means suited and ‘+’ means and all higher cards.
Avoid playing QJs and JTs as these hands can be easily dominated by something with a better kicker (KJ, KQ, KT, AT) and will not be easy to control the size of the pot when you're out of position.
Obviously you can add some more hands like ATo and KJs into your range if there are weak players who call raises with shitty hands like K5, A4, Q7 and similar.
Tighten up your range a bit if there are good players sitting at your left.
Middle position opening ranges
Opening ranges from MP are similar to UTG ones.
A lot of players subconsciously tend to consider UTG and MP the same thing and group them together.
The same they do about cut-off (CO) and button (BTN) together.
Usually players avoid to mess around with early position raises but you still have to keep a tight approach considering that, if called, you could be OOP (out of position) after the flop.
Middle position ranges should then be very similar to UTG ones, just add some:
-Suited connectors like 76s, 87s
-Suited Aces down to A7s
-Off suit Aces down to ATo.
Again, do not forget to take a look at your left: Are there good aggressive players who 3bets a lot? If so tighten your range!
Sporadically open with some unusual hands like 57s, 58s, 97s, 86s, etc... This is just to vary your game and make it harder to play against you.
Keep in mind that good players take notes and pay a lot of attention to the game: If you are a regular you must avoid to be exploitable, otherwise will be much harder to make profit over time.
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Late position opening ranges
Cut off and button are the two positions where you are going to win most of your money.
Opening ranges from these positions are much wider.
Let's start with the cut off.
True, you are in late position but there is still a player after you and then chances are two:
1- If the player on the button is a fish or very tight you can open extremely liberally and in that case range would be:
- All pocket pairs 22+
- All Broadways (two cards higher than T)
- All suited connectors
- All suited one-gappers down to 46o.
This is around 26% of all hands.
2- If the player on the button is very tricky and likes to 3bet a lot, you should then tighten up your range to 20% and that means to fold the lowest suited connectors and some one-gappers.
Button is where you are going to be very active especially in unopened pots.
Sometimes all other players before you have folded and you can steal the two blinds who often have bad hands.
Even if they do not fold pre flop, you can still continue the aggression on the following streets and you also have position on them.
Your range is very wide here and its wideness depends by the tendencies of the two blinds.
If you use some tracking software and a HUD which tells you how often blinds fold to steals: if the percentage is > 75% just start opening ATC (any two cards) until they start to resist.
If they are 3betting you a lot and making you fold a lot, you should modify your pre-flop raise sizing and reduce it to 2x to 2.5x the big blind in order to make an hypotethical 3bet less expensive an villain could then avoid to make it. Otherwise you can start to 4bet them light, especially those who 3bets 8% or more from the blinds, but this will be explained in a following article since there is a lot to talk about.
If you want to start 4betting remember to always prefer the line 4bet/Fold if you receive a 5bet at 4bet all in directly. This makes you less exploitable to good players' eyes.
Open raising ranges from the blinds
If they all folded before you in the small blind your open raising range depends mainly on the player in the big blind. If he is a tough player, then the best choice is to play very tight and
only opening something like 20% of total hands.
Otherwise, if he folds a lot you can widen it a lot. Poker has changed a lot in the last years and in today's games people tend to call small blind steals, taking advantage of the perceived wide range and the position they have on you.
In our opinion blind stealing from the small blind is not that lucrative as it was once.
In limped pots both from the small and the big blinds you should be opening your strong pocket pairs and broadways, taking advantage of the equity you have against smaller pairs and suited connectors that a lot of players(weak) tend to limp.
So this is a good strategy for the preflop. If you follow our guide you'll be raising about 18% of total hands preflop.
Do not forget to prefer fishy tables at full reg tables, since the most of the money you'll win comes from weak players' wallets.
If you are looking for fishy poker rooms i suggest you to take a look at NetBet which are offering €20 free and a 200% bonus up to €1500.
We consider this offer a great way to boost your bankroll in a quite weak field of players, especially at microstakes till NL25.
REMEMBER: play tight out of position and be super aggressive when in position!
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