Preflop Opening Ranges
In these scenarios no one has raised yet. That is why they are called opening ranges. You open the pot by raising the BB. If you open the pot by calling the BB, it is called limping. We never limp ourselves when no one has entered the pot (this is considered an amateur move by almost all serious players). We either raise or fold according to the ranges below.
Open raise LJ
Open raise HJ
Open raise CO
Open raise BTN
Open raise SB
We recommend a fairly tight opening range from BTN as the default. But this assumes reasonably competent players in the blinds who will fight back a lot. If the blinds are folding too much you can expand your range quite a bit. In this case you will often get the blinds without fight, and when they fight back you will always be in position.
We recommend using the same opening range in SB as on the BTN as default. The reason for this is that we will always be out of position. However, if the BB is a weak player with a tendency to fold too much we can open with a much wider range.
Exceptions can be made if other players have limped before you. Then you might want to limp behind with speculative hands (hands that are not good, but can hit a flop well) such as lower pocket pairs or lower suited connectors. You might want to do this when if several players have limped before you and it is unlikely that anyone after you will make a big raise.
Betting when no one has yet attacked the blinds is called open raising or RFI (Raise First In). When someone has entered the pot by limping it is usually a very weak player that we would like to play against. At the same time the player is also likely a calling station (calling too much), so it can be tough to bluff. As a starting point you raise to 3 BB (Big Blinds) + 1 BB per limper. So if two players have limped you raise to 5 BB.
As a starting point when you are in position you can raise with the range from the position before. So when you are in the BTN you raise with the CO range. When you are in the blinds (out of position) you can raise with the LJ range. This is a conservative approach, and when you are comfortable with attacking limpers you can profitably add more hands to your ranges. Especially when you have information about their tendencies and weaknesses, it can be very profitable to play against them. Some limpers will almost always fold to a continuation bet (a follow-up bet from a player who raised preflop) on the flop when they miss (fit or fold players). Some limpers will rarely fold when they have some kind of hand (calling station).