Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Analyzing NLHE:TAP Concept 28

From No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky and Ed Miller.

Concept No. 28: With strong hands, generally raise either a small, pot-building amount or a large, hand-defining amount. Don't raise an amount in the middle that both tells your opponents that you have a good hand and offers them the right implied odds to try to beat you.

I think it's better to just always bet a normal amount. I don't think you should you ever raise a "hand-defining amount." This will enable good players to play correctly against you, which means they will probably just fold unless they have you beat. This is clearly a terrible scenario for your strong hands. Bad players might call you with worse hands, but they even bad players are usually more likely to call a smaller bet. Then you can outplay them post-flop.

I'm also not a fan of "pot-building" bets, but these could conceivably work. Personally, I'd rather bet a little more and risk making a few players fold. Usually the result will be a pot of around the same size with fewer opponents, meaning you have a better chance to win.


Dave said...

I'd split the difference. I agree with you about the normal raise amount as opposed to the their pot builder idea. Of course, some people's normal raise IS a pot building amount. I probably fall into this category.

But I do believe there are many times when the "large, hand defining amount" comes into play. Whenever I see somebody raise to $25, then get reraised to $50, the entire table now has a pretty good idea of what the reraiser has. He's both given his hand away and he's giving the right odds to get put in a terrible spot post flop.

I'd much prefer the mega-raise. Someone makes it $25, a couple of callers later the big hand makes it $100, or $125 or something stupid like that. We now know where he's at, but it's prohibitive to take a shot at cracking him. This is for our normal SoCal games with 3-5. 5-5 or 5-10 blinds and relatively low capped buy ins, not Vegas games where a 2-5 game can easily have $1000 or more behind their stacks.

I've been busy lately but still enjoying your Concept Crackdown. That was easily the best part of that book and I like to hear other's opinions on it.

Belated CONGRATS!!! on your marriage!

Keith said...

I think we're in agreement, actually. Your suggestion of reraising a large amount like $100 or $125 is exactly what I would recommend, but I think that's a standard size reraise after someone has raised to $25 and there is a caller. As a rule of thumb, I consider standard to be about 3 times the original raise, plus however much other callers have put in.

In the book, S+M recommend raising to $120 as an original raise in a NL game with 5-10 blinds and $800 stacks. This is what they mean by a "large, hand-defining amount."