The Holdem Hands to Call With

It looks that in a heads-up game in the big blind you need to call (or re-raise) at least 40 percent of the time against an aggressive rival. So what kinds of hands you should play?

Any pair, is 6 percent; any ace, is about 15 percent; any other two cards that are both nine or higher, is about 12 percent, any other straight flush combination with no gaps or just one gap (except for 42s and 32s), is about 4 percent; and any king little suited that's not already covered, is about 2 percent. This adds to around 39 percent. That is what we are talking about. (You can even add hands such as J8s, 98, or 97.)

(We would also like to warn you about playing hands that contain a deuce or a trey. The problem with these cards is that if you flop a pair and your hand is best at that time, almost any card that comes can beat you.

Moreover, if you flop nothing and your rivals flops a pair, you will often find yourself bluffing or calling with only three outs. This doesn't mean that you can't play a hand if it contains a deuce or a trey. But be careful that it has some additional problems, and these hands may not be as good as they look like.)

Another Problem

Now here comes another significant problem. Suppose in our example you call his raise before the flop, contributing in the pot to $400. Moreover, suppose that on the flop you check and he bets every time. Notice that he is betting $100 to win $400. Even if you decide to foil him before the flop plans by calling it doesn't help you to if you turn up from this point on. In fact, (this is very important) it could backfire on you if you carry through properly as he has to succeed 20 percent of the time to show an automatic profit on his flop bet. That means that if you fold more than 20 percent of the time he again make money.

So what you should do to prevent this? If you call 40 percent of the time before the flop as we suggested but now try to play "normally" on the flop he's got a big profitable play of betting each time.

Before the considering the situation let us look at a similar one. Suppose you are on the button, you raise before the flop (as you will with a lot of hands) and your rivals calls. Now on the flop he comes out betting every time. What will you do?

Notice that if his strategy is to always bet the flop if he calls your raise and you only call that bet 60 percent of the time he will again be making a profitable bet. He will be risking $100 to win $400.

In either situation the proper counter strategy therefore must be to at least call on the flop anytime you have something decent, as well as with some other hands that don't appear decent.

continue here:Calling or Re-raising before the flop