Let’s have a look at some mini-raise examples now. I think everybody is probably familiar with this term. A mini- raise is exactly what it sounds like, a minimum raise. It accomplishes the action of a raise while risking the absolute minimum. For this reason a lot of people find them annoying. Probably because they find it easier to fold to a “real” raise. I can’t really disagree, they are annoying.
But overall a mini-raise isn’t usually a very good play and I don’t use it much myself. You can just note which types of players use it the most (overwhelmingly the bad ones) and draw your conclusions from there. The problem with a mini-raise is that it does not price out draws and it does not allow the person doing it to get the maximum value with a big hand. And I think the second point is really the most important one especially at the micros. I will have much more to say about that later though.
But you will get mini-raised routinely at these stakes so let’s go through a couple of examples on how to approach them.
In LP you have,
You raise and get a caller in the BB. The flop comes,
You cbet and he check/mini-raises.
I would call here most of the time IP and sometimes fold OOP. Our hand is kind of a bluff-catcher. This means that we only beat the air and draws in their range and not any legitimate hands. This is a perfect example of the wide range of difference in pair hands. If we had,
here for instance, I would approach this hand very differently. I might re-raise against some opponents. I am certainly at least calling regardless of position. We beat a lot more of the,
type hands and so it pretty much forces them to have a really big hand like an overpair or better. Those are hard to have. But given the minimum raise size I will usually still peel a card with my top pair no kicker and middle pair type hands here as well when IP.
Let’s have a look at a bit different situation.
In EP you have,
You raise and get a caller in LP. The flop comes,
You cbet and he mini-raises.
I think this is a fairly common situation at the micros where people spew a lot. The best play here is to fold. Even if our opponent has something as weak as,
he is still around 76% to win the hand. We just aren’t really getting the right odds to continue. And there is no guarantee that we will get paid off when we do hit.
As usual, it is a little bit closer if we are IP. This often comes down to player type. Against some really aggressive players or with a particular dynamic in play I might call, but I will still fold most of the time as well. This is another example of making a nice easy decision early on in a hand and moving on.