Responding When Someone Raises First Pre-Flop

Setup: this is about Microstakes poker and knowing how to respond when someone else at the table raises pre-flop. You see, when that happens you are faced with three options to choose from.

You can re-raise (also referred to as 3-bet). You can call. Lastly, obviously you can take that as your sign to cut your losses and just fold. The fact of the matter is that you naturally want to re-raise or fold much more often than you will want to call. Nevertheless, never ever forget that there are in fact some situations where calling is actually your very best option.

That being said, it turns out that there are three important exceptions that you will to know and understand. The first such exception shows up when you are holding a pocket pair. At the same time, you want to set. Keep in mind that sets can turn out to be the big moneymaker in these microstakes games. Of course, re-raising (3 betting) with small and mid size pocket pairs is definitely not the ideal setup. In other words, you can’t call a 4 bet and you don’t actually hit the flop often enough when you do get the call.

The next exception shows up when you do have a hand that is good enough to call. But, and this is a big but in this case, you will lose value in the case of a 3 bet. For example you will quite often wager with hands such as Ace King or Jack Jack, you can readily see there are cases when this is not the most favorable play. Remember you must always consider your opponents at all times.

The third exception shows up when you are holding what could at best be labeled a speculative hand and a fish has entered the pot. An important fundamental to keep in mind at this point is that there is one ‘must’ that you have to have before you even seriously contemplate calling. In short, you absolutely ‘must’ have position. Now that being said, it is certainly true that playing against a fish can in fact be quite rewarding. Yet at the same time remember that you will want to keep the size of the pot relatively small.

As you can see from the above, the three options just laid out for you here can help you keep your gameplay under control.

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