Starting Hands

There is a lot of flexibility in playing hands pre‐flop. A lot of people agonize over their pre‐flop hand selection and debate endlessly the merits of re‐raising someone with 10‐10. There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on the situation. But more importantly the right and wrong answers do not differ by much in terms of EV so it is not important which you choose as both plays are valid. The stage is only set for a hand when the flop comes and it is those three cards that can change so much for you and the opponent.

Because of this if you want to create a loose, aggressive image to get paid off when you hit big hands, it’s fine to make loose/aggressive plays pre‐flop and then slow down post‐flop. Playing “crazy” pre‐ flop looks a lot worse than it really is. Other people think you are nuts, but you realize that if you re‐raise someone pre‐flop a lot of things can happen – you can win it there, you can bluff at some point in the hand, you can hit a hand and win the pot even if you start out behind pre‐flop, and so on.

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