Micro Limit Games - Pre-flop Strategy

Published: 16th January 2009
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We will describe the pre-flop game strategy on full-hand tables (10max) here.

Micro limit games (~0.02/0.04) have some peculiarities in comparison to a game with higher limits. You will find the highest ratio of an average bank size to a big blind size here. This means that the highest percent of drawn combinations are paid-out. Contenders play very freely and lose their stacks easily. The best strategy for this game will be a reliable tight play if you are a new player. Of course, that strategy is not very profitable, but a new player would fare better playing this way. You shouldn't play weak hands which may cause difficulties when you play the post-flop.

Early positions (1-3)

Play tightly here. Raises are very possible from late positions. Having no position will lead to difficulties on the post-flop. So, tight play is the best at these positions.

AK, JJ+ - Raise 5ВВ, if there has been a raise. If you have JJ-QQ, АК, you should call if the re-raise is not more than 15ВВ. If the re-raise is higher, having JJ and АК fold, you should call with QQ up to 20ВВ. Having КК, re-raise (three times that of a contender's raise), up to all-in. If you have АА, and nobody has called in your re-raise (having only one opponent), you may simply call to outwit your contender later and play a check-raise on the flop. If more than one opponent stays in a bank, you shouldn't play call with АА. The best play is to make a re-raise in three times bigger than the last. It's more difficult to play AA against two contenders if you have no position on the flop. A raise of 5ВВ is recommended in this situation. Though, if you see too many contenders calling your raise, you should increase the amount. If your contenders are very aggressive and often play raise on the pre-flop, you should call in an early position having AA. In the event that there is a raise after you, you'll be able to make a re-raise.

AJ-AQ - call. It's too tight but good for a new player. A raise with a hand like this may be too risky.

22-ТТ - call and call a raise in hopes of making three of a kind

Fold all other hands.

Middle positions (4-6)

ТТ+, AQ+, AJ - raise, if no raises have been made. If there is a re-raise up to 15ВВ, call with ТТ-QQ and АК. КК and АА are played as it is described in the early positions.

If there have been raises, play a re-raise. With the hands AK and QQ+, re-raise by tripling the original. If there has been a raise and then somebody has re-raised, play a re-raise only if you have KK+. If you have QQ, you should call. Fold JJ and lower cards.

KQs, ATs - start with a raise of 5ВВ (to start means that all opponents before you have folded and you are the first getting into the game). If somebody has limped (to limp - getting into a game without a raise), it's best to call.

KQо, ATо - call if there have been no raises.

JTs+, QTs, KJs - call, if two or more players have gone into the game. Having such hands we need many contenders in a pot to make bank chance better. These hands are too weak to make them stronger drawing by a pair. But they can form very strong combinations - straights and flushes. To make the possibility of drawing those combinations profitable, you will need many potential losers to pay for it.

22-99 - call and call in the raise.

Fold all other hands.

Late positions (Co and Button)

In these positions you may play the widest range of hands. All contenders have made their decisions already and we can guess how strong their hands are.

88+ AT+ KQs - raise 5ВВ, if there have been no raises.

If there has been a raise from an early position, re-raise up to three times with QQ+ and АК. If nobody has called this raise before, you may re-raise even with JJ. If not, call with JJ and play them like a medium pair in hopes of making a set or getting an appropriate flop (without over cards). You have a good position which allows you to make a decision on the post-flop. With 88-ТТ, call a raise. Here you want to play to draw a set. You may also win the pot due to the position you hold.

If there has been a raise from the middle positions, re-raise with AQs, AK, JJ+.

If there has been a raise and then a re-raise, play the same way as described for the middle positions.

JTs+, QTs, KJs - start with a raise of 5ВВ. If there is at least one limper - call. If there have been raises - fold.

Axs (х - a card lower than Т) - start with a raise of 5ВВ. Call if there are limpers.

Suited cards and connectors

89s+ if there are three or more limpers, call.

56s+ - if there are four or more limpers, call.

8Тs+ (all suited connectors with a gut-shot card) if there are three or more limpers, call.

57s+ - if there are four or more limpers, call.

You may call small raises (2-3ВВ) with the hands mentioned above, if the recommended number of contenders have gone into the game (including a raiser).

These hands are good because you typically can't lose much. You can easily fold them when the flop is not good. If you're lucky, you could get a strong combination.

The described pre-flop strategy is rather tight. You will often see raisers and re-raisers with very poor hands at these limits. It won't hurt to play with them if you have a similarly poor hand. Don't pay much attention to those who win a pot with a poor hand. Their stacks go from one to another player. You need to play calmly and reliably. Remember not to be too greedy or you risk becoming one of them.

If you follow these recommendations for a pre-flop game, you will never find yourself in a difficult situation after having seen the flop, even if you can't judge the strength of your contenders' hands.

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