Calling Raises

Now we can finally talk about what to do if somebody has already raised it in front of you. Well first things first, we need to consider what a raise from somebody else at the table actually means. As we saw earlier, there are several different player types. And a raise will mean different things depending on which type made it. So this is where our HUD will come in handy. If you have a good enough sample (around 20 hands or more) you can look at their PFR stat and narrow their range a bit.

It might be a good idea to plug in some PFR ranges into Pokerstove if you have never done this before. Click on a player and then click on the pre flop tab. You can then type in a PFR number or use the scroll bar. For instance, all the hands in purple below is what a roughly 10% (albeit broadway heavy) PFR range looks like.

Now before you start putting your opponent on an exact range it is very important to note their position at the table. As I mentioned before position is incredibly important in poker. This doesn’t mean that all of your opponents are aware of that however. In fact many at the micros will not.

But as a general rule, players will play more hands the closer they get to the button without even thinking about it. And there are plenty of grinders these days, even at limits this low, who do in fact show some signs of positional awareness.

There is an easy way to check all of this in HEM however which is noted in the full popup below.

Keep in mind that you will need to have a fairly big sample size on someone before you can reliably depend on this information. I have over 1600 hands on the player above which is way more than enough. I would recommend at least a hundred hands though. Whereas someone’s overall PFR number will usually come close to its true value within 20 hands or so, their PFR by position is going to take quite a bit longer.

As we see above, this player is only playing 6% of his hands from EP and he plays twice that many (12%) from the BTN. As I mentioned before, I think you should be playing about 3 times as many hands in LP as EP. So at 2 times as many hands from LP this player is somewhat aware of his position at the table. We will need to adjust our calling and 3betting range versus him a fair bit depending on where he raises from.

So let’s make some general notes here going off the idea that players are going to open up a little more as they get closer to the button.

Facing an EP Raise

As we saw with the player above, many people will open with a much tighter range from this position. This certainly isn’t always the case at the micros. But when somebody opens from this position you should generally give it the most credit. I would especially give it more credit if it is a reg that opened. SLP and fish will usually have no clue about position. They just play their cards wherever. Regs are far more likely to have at least some idea about the importance of position.

Facing an MP Raise

If the raise comes from MP we can expect most players to begin loosening up a bit. As we saw with the player above for instance, his PFR jumps to 8% from these positions. So we can widen our range for most players a little bit when they open from MP.

Facing an LP Raise

If the raise comes from LP then we should put our opponents on an even wider range. LP is of course a common steal spot and players will be more willing to open a wider variety of hands from these positions. We can call lighter. And we can 3bet lighter.

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