Limp Re-Raising in EP

Limp re-raising your big hands (especially AA and KK) is a fairly popular tactic especially among regulars at NL2 and NL5. I should add that the only time that you should ever attempt a limp re-raise is when you are in EP and the table is full. This is because you want to give yourself the best possible chance of getting a raise behind you. This is of course statistically most likely to occur the more people are left to act behind you.

I don’t think limp re-raising is a very useful strategy however. The reason for this is that most games at these limits are very passive. Therefore your chances of getting a raise behind you is often quite low.

However, in the rare case that you are at a table which happens to be aggressive, this can be a viable tactic. I talked earlier about having the average VPIP enabled in HEM so that it displays on each table. Well when this feature is turned on, it will also display the average PFR right beside it. If I see that this number is above 10 I will attempt the old limp re-raise with AA or KK from time to time. But in general I think you should just make a standard raise with these hands here the large majority of the time.

MP

The middle positions (MP1 and MP2) are a little bit more profitable because you will get to play a few more pots with the benefit of position. However, you don’t want to go overboard here. As we saw, the winrates from these positions, while better than EP, still aren’t very spectacular. So I recommend just using the same range as EP but with the addition of a few big broadway value type hands such as,

LP

Late position (HJ, CO and BTN) is the place to go nuts. As you no doubt noticed in the above winrates chart, this is where the real money is being made. And it increases sharply as we approach the button.

I recommend abusing these positions and I do mean that in every sense. Anytime you are close to the button you should act like you own it. I always use the analogy of a professional sports team that is playing at home. Players will often say stuff like “this is our house!” or “nobody is going to come in here and beat us!”

You should approach your late position hands with a similar mentality. Think of it as your turf. You are in control of the hand when in these positions, not anybody else.

Therefore you should be raising and 3betting with a wide variety of hands from these positions (more on 3betting later). From the Hijack (HJ) you should still keep your range fairly conservative. However you should add quite a few hands that you weren’t playing in MP. Stuff like,

From the cutoff (CO) and button (BTN) however, I would recommend playing around 40% of your hands.

This includes all the hands from the HJ range plus a whole host of other suited and unsuited high card strength and connecting type hands.

While I previously recommended that you limit the number of hands that you play in EP due to the relative unprofitability of the position, I advocate just the opposite here. As we saw before, these two positions are the most profitable spots at the table. Therefore, you should go out of your way to get involved in as many pots as possible from them.

So while this range is too long to list, here are some of the types of hands that I regularly open with from these positions,

You don’t want to go too crazy however. You should still be folding a slight majority of all hands that you are dealt. But this is definitely the spot to open up a lot wider than you are perhaps used to. A good rule of thumb to follow is this:

–> You should be playing around 3 times as many hands from the CO and BTN as you are from EP.

And you can increase this ratio even more as you get more comfortable playing a wider range. The main idea here however is that you need to be highly aware of your position at the poker table. When you are near the button you can turn all sorts of relative junk into winners due to the inherent advantages of the position.

As I said though, you will need to use some discretion so as not to go overboard here. You should still pitch stuff like the really small suited connectors,

Along with all the stuff that has a high card (which is not an ace or a king) and has no kicker such as,

And the whole spectrum of obvious trash like,

However, if the blinds are especially tight (both nits for instance) then you should include some of the above hands and maybe even some total trash. But you get the general idea here. You should play loose and aggressive when you are around the button.

As a final note, there will be some occasions where it is better to limp behind some parts of your LP range. These are generally spots where there are a lot of limpers in front of you (3 or more) and you have a weak, speculative type hand such as,

The reason for this is pretty similar to the situation with small pairs in EP. These hands don’t have a whole lot of value unimproved. Furthermore, there are so many people in the pot already that we might have a difficult time taking it down. These hands can nail the flop hard and win you a big pot though. Therefore, it is better to keep the pot small and just try to flop something huge.

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