Facing a preflop raise

Facing a preflop raise

One player has raised the blinds. There can also be callers in front of you, but that is out of scope for this text. This is an introduction to the topic, see Preflop 3-betting Ranges and Preflop Calling Ranges for more details.

Facing a raise

Bet sizing

It is recommended to raise to 3 times the open raise in position and 4-5 times the open raise out of position. For more information, see Preflop bet sizing 2023.

When to call

For most part we call with medium strength hands. Hands that are typical candidates are:

  • Low – medium pocket pairs
  • Suited connectors
  • Suited broadways and some suited aces

In the big blind the calling range becomes much wider. This is because we are last to act and we get good odds on the call since we have already invested a big blind.

It is ok to only call in big blind and play raise or fold in all other positions in low stakes cash games (tournaments have calls in all positions). The high rake in low stake games makes calling marginally profitable in other positions. In the Poker Trainer cash game ranges all positions are raise or fold except the big blind and button. The recommended button range in Poker Trainer has calls, for two reasons:

  • At higher stakes with lower rake, having a calling range in button is standard
  • Calling can be good for exploitative reasons when the raiser and/or the blinds are weak and we get to play more hands against them

When to re-raise (3-bet)

3-bet tighter against early positions and wider against later positions. This is very important since the range you are betting against is a lot stronger if villain has raised from an early position. On top of that, there are also more players acting after you that might get involved.

CO vs LJ

Cash 100 bb

CO vs LJ cash game 100 bb

MTT 100 bb

Notice the difference between a cash game range on the left and the MTT range on the right for the same scenario.

It is challenging to memorize all the different charts just by looking at them. It is also hard to know if you remember correctly. We strongly recommend practicing preflop ranges in the preflop exercise to help you commit them to memory and get feedback on mistakes.

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