Friday, June 27, 2008

Button reraising...or not

I keep thinking about two seemingly competing strategies, both of which are preached by solid pros. One strategy would have you cold call in position with many playable hands, and the other advocates frequent 3-betting.

I remember Samoleus arguing for making more calls in position with hands that have implied odds. He differed with some CardRunners pros who reraise many playable hand types in position.

Dan Harrington writes in his cash game books about calling with a wide range of hands for cheap in position. The deeper-stacked you are, the more hands you want to play from the button, he says.

Finally, I stumbled upon a column by BalugaWhale that lays out a reasonable compromise: 3-bet with strong and weak hands, while call with high implied odds hands. This line of thought makes sense. If you're going to call preflop with low pocket pairs in position, why not do the same with JTs? Sure, you can 3-bet these hands when the circumstances call for it, like when you're up against a player who folds to raises too much or never 4-bets. But seeing flops with drawing hands while not spending too much money seems reasonable.

One big problem with this style comes when you're up against frequent squeezers from the blinds. To balance your range against these types of players, you need to occasionally cold call with premium hands from late position in hopes of 4-betting a squeezer all-in.


Fuel55 said...

Calling more is the essence of small ball I think.

Justin said...

agreed w/fuel. also, you are speaking strictly of cash game strategy in this post, right?

Gnome said...

Right, cash games.

Shrike said...

I'm a big fan of making a lot of calls in position with a wide range of playable hands and trying to exploit postflop skill edges and leveraging position. But I also agree that you have to balance your play with 3-bets preflop as well.