Top pro no limit Texas hold’em poker advice

Let us say that you have a hand like the Qc-10c on the button. A player with only 77bb raises from early position and you have a 120bb stack in $1-$2 no limit Texas hold’em. Do you re-raise, fold or call? Well firstly we need to ascertain what sort of player raised. The fact that they only have a 77bb stack indicates that they are not a strong player. We certainly want to play pots with weaker players and the stacks are deep enough to do that. If the raise was to say 3.5bb then we can call with position here.

Do they play fit or fold?

Many weak players will play fit or fold in these situations in no limit Texas hold’em but because we are up against a strong range then we certainly cannot three bet. In fact with only 77bb in our opponents stack then calling is marginal as our poker play is very nuts orientated because we will fold a lot post flop because of the strength of our opponents range.

Having different plans of attack

Let us say that one of the blinds three bets to $30 who has a 150bb stack, this changes the equation because even though we are both deep, our hand is clearly losing and we need huge implied odds to compensate for that. Our stack is only 120bb and the original raiser was even less at 77bb. However it is when the big blind calls that things become interesting. Now we need to know what type of player the big blind is?

Are they a reg?

The first thing that you need to know is if they are a reg? If they are then this changes the equation because regs will know that the opener was a fish and will play more aggressively post flop. Let us say that the flop came Jd-9h-4s in this hand of no limit Texas hold’em. The reg in the big blind checks as does the raiser.

We can trust the raiser here to have a hand like A-K or A-Qs and has missed the flop and is afraid to bet into two opponents. They only had 77bb before the hand commenced and so a c-bet would be in the region 8bb. If they c-bet and get called then this would leave them in a very dangerous situation.

Reading the situation

We have an eight out straight draw and a queen overcard and so our equity is pretty good. After two checks then we can bluff at this pot profitably. Now let us say that the original raiser check-raises us to 25bb. Now we know that we are losing but are we getting the right price to continue? Clearly we cannot shove because we have the worst hand with almost zero fold equity. There are now 44bb in the pot and it costs us 17bb to call and so we are getting around 2.5/1 for our money. Clearly these are poor immediate odds and our overcard queen no longer looks strong.

Our opponent has less than 50bb left but they will surely stack off if we make our straight. Unless they have a hand like J-J or 9-9 then they probably have an overpair that they are going with. So we can treat the flop as if it has an extra 49bb in it. So now we are looking at calling 17bb in a 93bb pot which is just over 5/1 and so we are just getting enough on the call. Had they check-raised more than we could have folded.

The big blind check-raises

Now let us change this no limit Texas hold’em hand to one where it is the reg in the big blind that check-raises the flop and the original raiser folds. In this instance then the reg is aware that we will bluff at this spot after two checks and so will certainly check-raise a lot of flops in which they have some sort of equity. In this instance then I would be inclined to shove the river against what is clearly a much wider range. There will be a ton of fold equity in this situation whereas in the previous hand then our opponent was clearly stacking off. Solid play in no limit Texas hold’em is all about identifying your opponent and then taking the appropriate action that is relevant to that situation.