When should I Raise and Call?

Texas Holdem Poker Tips – Raise and Call

Let’s say you are in a low cash game full of loose-weak players, you are in CO, someone in front of you opens the pool and then 3 people flat call, you look at your hand and it is AJs, how do you, what action do you take?

I know, I know, it depends on the situation, what do I know about three flat calling players? What are the players in the back BTN spots and blinds like? How deep are the chips? How do I look to others?

You are a thinking player and you are asking the right questions before you answer this.

Let’s briefly mention a question you often ask yourself in situations like this: When should I raise and call a player in the pot?

Can we always use this method

Although a flat call is most of the time a sign of weakness, there are actually many reasons why a player should flat call an ante entry.

There are some savvy players who sometimes hold overpairs in front position and just flat call the blinds, expecting the player behind them to raise and then raise again to get maximum value. This type of play is great for loose hands, not for tables where the situation is more passive, as many players will just choose to flat call, which increases the risk of holding overpairs and being outraised.

You will also sometimes encounter very tight cut passive players who, even when holding overpairs, just choose to flat call after opening the pool in front of them instead of raising. Have you ever seen a pre-flop flat caller at the micro or low level of an online poker platform finally show up and surprise you with AA or KK? It really does happen.

Of course, these situations are not common, and most flat callers hold basically medium or borderline weak hands and expect to see the flop at a cheap price.

Against this type of player, raising is often the most profitable way to go, especially if you have position. If they fold, you can collect dead money. If the call is made and the opponent is not hard to read, you can also win more by not having to play until the showdown stage to collect the bottom pot.

So the question is, can we always use this method of raising against players who flat call into the pool?

A common mistake that players in the blinds make is that they think they are already committed and must be in the pot for the sake of dead money. Against such players, it is very advantageous for you to squeeze in front with a strong or even medium hand. But what you need to watch out for are players who call the pool in front of you. Some of these players are better, they are just used to calling flat and they will keep calling your continuation bets after the flop even if the bottom pot odds are not right, and with such players, the play of always raising against players who call the pool is obviously not applicable.

Specific situation

For this reason, it is important that you have a strong hand when you raise a flat caller. Secondly, when you raise multiple flat callers, you have to be careful about how much you raise. The bigger the raise, the more you can narrow down your range estimates.

That said, when you hold overpairs or AKs, and sometimes AQs and AJs, AJs are the lowest end of the range for raising a flat caller, and you need to consider: the likelihood of the hand being played against multiple flat callers on the lead, and secondly, whether there are players among the flat callers who like to flat call with strong cards as an ambush.

Although AJs are not weak after being called, just hitting top pair is not enough against multiple opponents, you would prefer to hit a draw flush or a hand with a backdoor straight, and two pair or something like that.

Specifically, when you hold AQo and the flop is Q98, you may have hit the best hand, but against 3-4 opponents, you can’t put in too many chips because such a connected hand is also likely to hit your opponent’s range, and against a 1-2 street bet, your opponents won’t fold easily, they may have hit a better hand in ambush, or they may have dealt a card later to make the situation worse after bluffing against you.

When you are at a table with 1 or 2 players who are always used to flat calling into the pool, such opponents are good to deal with, and you should try to raise as much as possible when you are in position and hold a medium or marginal hand.

Final Thoughts

When you encounter a player who draws into the pot in a cash game, mentally flag him and pay attention to his actions on the next few streets and the cards he shows. Such players usually play tight and passive, and if they fold frequently after the flop, such players should be the ones you raise pre-flop.

When should you raise to flat call a player in the pool? The answer is, not always, and only against a very few opponents can you keep raising. Don’t treat all flat callers the same, you may end up playing yourself.

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