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Raises - Variable or Same

Discussion in 'Cash Game / Ring Game Advice' started by image, Jul 9, 2007.

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How do you raise?

  1. Always raise the same amount

    3 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Vary raise randomly

    21 vote(s)
    87.5%
  1. image

    image Well-Known Member

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    This has been touched on in other threads, but I thought it may merit conversation on it's own. Please post reasons in addition to voting in the poll.

    I've read two diametrically opposed beliefs on how to handle this, and both quote the same reason.

    If you have a raising hand:
    Option 1 - Always raise the same amount, to camouflage the strength of your hand (I think the first book I read that had this strategy was one by Cloutier, but I'm not sure)
    Option 2 - Vary your raise randomly, to camouflage the strength of your hands (for instance, always raise between 3-5x the bb with AA, but vary randomly... this is the strategy that Harrington has in the HOH)
     
    #1
  2. jojobinks

    jojobinks Poker Nerd (and Admin)
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    bottom pair and a flush draw
    option three. raise different amounts, but for reasons rather than deception.
     
    #2
  3. smoore

    smoore Creativity Alliance

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    When I was newer, I would always raise the same amount. Now I raise different amounts for:

    1) Deception/randomness
    2) Hand Strength (bigger might mean AA... or it might mean 76s)
    3) Position
    4) Current Image
    5) My stack vs. the blinds' stacks

    there are probably a few others but they don't come to mind right now... oh yeah:

    6) Inebriation :wink:
     
    #3
  4. links_slayer

    links_slayer Master of the 3-Putt Par
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    I raise different amounts. There are a lot of factors that come into play, but rarely do I raise the same amount every time.
     
    #4
  5. Go Mifune

    Go Mifune Active Member

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    I kinda like Harrington's random raise method from HOH1. Look at the second hand on your watch - 1-15 limp, 16-30 2x, 31-45 3x, 46-00 4x. Its fun to pull this one out occasionally during a tournament. People (especially if they don't know you) will give some funny looks.

    I really need to read that book again.
     
    #5
  6. xtwalker

    xtwalker Well-Known Member

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    In cash games I always open for the same amount, ($20 in a $3-5 game) and I never vary from it. When I raise it up with limpers ahead of me I generally go with $20+5 for every limper, but adjust that based on who the limpers are, and current reads. To me, this has two affects, 1) it disguises my hand since I will open for $20 with AA or with J7os in late possition. 2) it keeps me from opening with stupid hands like J7os very often, and especially in early possition.

    A favorite play is to min raise, or use a very small raise in late possition when there are several limpers ahead of me. This gives them a chance to give away hand strength without costing me much money. It also allows me to build a pot and get post flop action into dollar figures that a lot of the players aren't comfortable with.

    If I am raising an opened pot, I generally raise to 3x the open +x for each caller. Again, this is dependent on the players and current reads though.

    Tournaments, all bets are off. I play a lot of tourneys with lousy structures that a 2x the BB bet has the same effect as a 4 or 5x BB bet. Not to mention the chip stacks are generally very low relative to the blinds so there isn't much room to play after the flop. All opens become very situational.
     
    #6
  7. image

    image Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know how to work this into the OP, but when I originally thought of the question, this was part it. That is, the difference between cash games and tournaments (if any). So this was a very insightful read. Thanks xtwalker :)
     
    #7
  8. dad604

    dad604 Well-Known Member

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    In ring games, I tend to raise the same amount. In tourneys, it varies depending on the tourney, from the same to all in sometimes for the wild low buy ins.
     
    #8
  9. the3rd

    the3rd Well-Known Member

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    I usually raise the same amount regardless of position if I am first in the pot. If others are already in the pot or I am hoping to make a play at a player behind me, I will raise a different amount.
     
    #9
  10. Quads

    Quads Creativity Alliance

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    IMO raising the same amount with certain hands is one of the most dangerous habits your game will / can develop. Surely -ev. There should be no "standard ____X raise". I cringe when I hear / read that.
     
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  11. image

    image Well-Known Member

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    nonono... not raising the same amount with certain hands. That I know is a horrible idea.

    Raising the same amount with any hand that you consider a raising hand. Your comment about -ev may still be correct, I just wanted to clarify a bit.

    -image
     
    #11
  12. BCR_9er

    BCR_9er Well-Known Member

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    I like to raise the same repeatly. If you raise different random amounts, you still may have some pattern to your raises that you are not aware of.
     
    #12
  13. Quads

    Quads Creativity Alliance

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    Even more dangerous IMO.

    Look at how much information you sre giving about your game with this 'cookie cutter' style of play.
     
    #13
  14. jldecarlo

    jldecarlo Super Moderator
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    I usually raise 3x the BB tourney and 4x in a cash game.

    Except of course, when I don't:

    In the SB or on the button.
    With lot's of limpers in front.
    My table image.
    My reads on the other players.
    etc.

    L
     
    #14
  15. tomb1

    tomb1 Well-Known Member

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    We play with one player at a regular home game who always raises according to the strength of his hand. And we make fun of him -- "Oh, that's the Pocket Queens raise..." He blushes when he's caught, but keeps doing it. Go figure.
     
    #15
  16. gmunny

    gmunny #21
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    I put #2, but it's not random. Usually there's a specific purpose to my raises and it varys depending on who is in the pot, how many players are in the pot, my position, the board, etc. I ask myself, do I want callers, do I want to isolate, do I want to represent a specific hand? I may bet X against one player, but bet Y with the same hand/board against a different player.
     
    #16
  17. PhilTheThrill14

    PhilTheThrill14 Well-Known Member

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    Just to play the game here. Answer me this:

    I always raise 3x the BB. First hand of the game and I am in mid position - folded to me and I raise 3x the BB. Everyone folds and I show TJo. What information have I given you?

    Ok - next question. It is later in the same tourney - I have raised 3x the BB every time I have raised (except for when there were limpers ahead of me, in which case I raised 3x+ a BB for each) and it is again folded to me in mid - I raise 3x the BB and everyone folds - I show AA. What information have I given you?

    Ok - next question. It is even later in the same tourney - I have raised 3x the BB every time I have raised (except for when there were limpers ahead of me, in which case I raised 3x+ a BB for each) and it is again folded to me in mid - I raise 3x the BB and everyone folds - I show two cards (does it matter?). What information have I given you?

    I fail to see how in the world you could gain information if the raise is always the same. I must be missing something. Explain.

    (Note: I'm not saying this is the optimal way to play - just fail to see how it can give any kind of information out....)
     
    #17
  18. luckychick

    luckychick Creativity Alliance

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    What kind of hands are you doing this with? I see this often in early stages of tournies and in low stakes cash games and it looks like spewage to me. The only think I can *maybe* rationalize is if you have a small pp and you are trying to build a pot for a set, but i dunno, I'm not sure about this one....
     
    #18
  19. Quads

    Quads Creativity Alliance

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    (in theory) It tells me that you have a very standard 'cookie cutter' way of playing a large variety of hands, and gives me enough information on how and when to exploit that style of play and extract chips from your stack. It makes you a very predictable player. The better I can predict your play, the more I can exploit it.

    Secondly, and almost chief to the other issue(s) is that it in no way maximizes your investment dollar with regards to the power or potential of your hand, or the play you can make with the hand, be it strong or weak. Standard 'cookie cutter' play does nothing to extract the full potential of chips in play.

    IMO, if someone *always* raises the same amount (say 4 or 5X the BB) in the same position (say late position) with a hand like a big pocket pair, I see that as a leak in their game.

    Every story that starts with "I hate aces, I'm in late position and I raise the standard 5X the BB, and get this... this board comes ...... blah blah blah" That's a leak in someones game. I love aces. It's the best starting hand you can get. How you play them, (or any other hand, take p/7's for example) is dependant on your action. Lot's of people say "I hate ___ pocket pair, I always lose with them". Interesting- Have you ever considered the idea that you are playing the hand incorrectly? Hence why you dump the hand every time?

    Guidelines are great in how to open pots with hands, but having or following 'hard and fast rules' on how to play a hand can never be set. Every situation is different, and should be evaluated and acted upon its specific merit at that moment.

    That being said, I have a hard time believing there is such a thing as a "standard" ___X BB raise. Just my opinion of course.
     
    #19
  20. PhilTheThrill14

    PhilTheThrill14 Well-Known Member

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    I agree (as I stated) that I do not believe that this is optimal play. But you failed to answer what information in terms of hand strength it gives you. You state it makes me predictable - but yet your "definition" of predictable includes the fact that I am doing this with a wide range of hands - which would seem to me to be unpredictable. I'm confused.

    Raising the same amount every time gives you zero information - it may not be optimal play for a few reasons, but still - I need a better explanation of how this gives you any sort of information that you can use to figure out what I have and therefore play optimally against me.
     
    #20

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