Well known fact: aggressive style does pay off in poker. Loose passive players, the ones who always call the bets and never show active interests in the hands expect when they do feel they are holding the strongest score, tend to lose most of their money.
If it’s that simple, though, why are there so many loose fish around?
Part of the answer is that a lazy approach is often adopted in many parts of life, with poker just being one of them. The second part relies on an a non-analytical way to face online poker, which leads to avoid boring activities such as study the game and play with an high focus cap, aware of the situations and of the opponents’ styles at the table.
If we could give one simple advice to most of the players in such situation, it would be: study the preflop range and bet sizing.
Preflop raise: ranges
Preflop range(s): the general “easy” rule states that the closer to the BTN, the more hands you can raise with. If you are the first to speak in a 9max table, with 8 players left behind and the disadvantage of the position postflop, you definitely wanna fold 90% of your hands, just raising with premium hands.
Even 99 isn’t a clear hand to raise with, depending the situations. If you doubt about the last sentence, you are likely not playing poker properly
Preflop raise: sizes
Preflop raise sizes: setting strong basics is the start for a successful poker career so just remember – pending constant evaluation of the single situation – these guidelines about how much to bet when raising preflop.
You are playing in a 9max table with other 8 people and you are:
- Early (UTG/UTG+1/UTG+2, positions 1-2-3): if you wanna be involved in the hand, raise 4 to 5 times the amount of the big blind. If blinds are 50/100, just raise to 400/500 chips. The goal is to get as much fold as possible, cause you do not want to play a postflop hand out of position in a multiway pot.
- Mid (UTG+3/HJ/CO, positions 4-5-6): as seen above, the later you are the more hands you can play with, so if you decide to raise, just bet from 3 to 4 big blinds. If blinds are 50/100, raise up to 300/400. The goal is the same as above, plus giving yourself a slightly better chance to steal the blinds.
- Late (BTN/SB, positions 7-8): since from that late at the table – assuming everybody folded before your turn – you’d likely want to try to steal the blinds and open raising with a wide range of hands, the preflop size should be around 2.5 to 3x BB. If blinds are 50/100, raise up to 250/300. You do not want to commit that much because your hand will likely be weak, but you still want to get the change to take a shot at the juice blinds.
Remember! The strength of your hand should not vary the amount you decide to bet.
In some cases, though, might happen that if you know for a fact that a very loose passive player on the BB will call any size and your stacks are really deep, you can consider to open even 6/7x instead of 4/5x. If a very tight player on the BB is likely to pass on hs big blind and you are on the BTN, probably makes sense to raise just 2x with almost any hand to get a shot to the blinds.
If you want to learn more about bet sizing, we got you covered in this article!