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Playing in Loose Games

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  • Playing in Loose Games

    Hi everyone, I was just reading the book "The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky (great book btw). First of all, I play a TAG game, but here he was talking about how you should adjust your game in Loose tables. I'll quote an excerpt from his book: "In contrast to other semi-bluff hands and small pairs, come hands increase in value with many players in the pot because you are usually getting excellent pot odds to draw to them. Furthermore, when the game is loose, you figure to get paid off well once you've made a straight or a flush. Therefore, in a loose game with several players in the pot, you should play more drawing hands" - My question is: when I play these hands that are good in multi-way pots ( suited connector or small pairs ) should I open raising them or just limp in ? My concern is that by raising these hands which "rarely" (or not very often) hit the flop, I would wasted too much chips, especially when the blind are getting bigger. Thanks, I hope u guys can give me some feedback. umbup:

  • #2
    Hi fp_boss77! I try to change my game up to play the opposite of what the table is. If the table is loose, I'll sit back and win larger pots when I get a hand. If the table is playing tight, then I'll play much looser and steal more. Even when I'm playng more hands, I will limp behind a number of limpers, but I don't like to open-limp. When I'm opening the pot, I will either std raise or muck. Hope this helps.umbup: John (JWK24)
    Super-Moderator



    6 Time Bracelet Winner


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    • #3
      It depends what kind of loose table it is. Loose-passive or loose-aggressive. Those terms can be applied to individuals or an entire table. Either way your TAG play is the way to go.

      Loose-passive table: Almost everybody is limping in preflop every hand. Rarely anyone raises preflop. Here you should make small raises with better speculative hands like suited connectors and small to medium pocket pairs. 2-3 x BB raise from ANY position. Builds the pot, but is unlikely to get more than one or two people at the entire table to fold. Bet out when you flop a monster or monster draw, and check/fold the rest of the time. Try to not overplay weak to medium strength flops. When you raise 2 x BB with 9Ts and hit top pair on the flop with 5 other people in the hand, this is not what you were looking for. Proceed with extreme caution.

      Loose-aggressive table: Almost everybody is limping in or raising preflop. The raises often get called by three to four people. Here you have to figure out how big a raise is required to control the number of callers preflop. You don't want three to four callers when you raise preflop with KK. The bigger a raise is required to only average one to two callers, the tighter you have to play preflop. Limit speculative hands to only when in late position. A raise is better here than a limp. 3-4 x BB should help deter a reraise while still building the pot. Stick with better speculative hands as well such as small-medium pocket pairs, medium suited connectors, and two broadway cards that include an A or K.

      Patience is key at loose tables. Are you there for the action or to profit? Let them battle it out with trash hands. Theres no reason to dive into the chaos and play poorly like they are. Just sit back and wait for the right opportunities to come your way and take them.

      Also - If your raising 2.5 x BB with speculative hands in a loose-passive game, if you stack someone(100 BB deep) once in 40 times your already break even in expected value. In reality your will probably win the pot more often than that however.
      Last edited by RockerguyAA; Tue Feb 28, 2012, 05:59 PM.

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      • #4
        Hi, thanks guys for your feedback!

        RockerguyAA

        Yeah, I understand the concept. The problem is that a lot of times when I play in the loose tables full of limpers (loose-passive) I wait for good hands and they rarely come before the 4th or 5th blind levels, which point I'm less then 10BB deep and have to start shoving weaker hands, and even when I got a AK some donkey hit something like 2 pair with 72o.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JWK24 View Post
          Even when I'm playng more hands, I will limp behind a number of limpers, but I don't like to open-limp. When I'm opening the pot, I will either std raise or muck.
          John (JWK24)
          hi jwk,


          i am experimenting with open limping instead of raising spec hands (deep stacked, anyway) since i figure i can call a raise (same price as raising and getting called,right?) but not a reraise, so, i get to play more hands, also, it encourages more limping behind, creating multiway pots, just what i want with those hands.

          i'm talking ep and mp, here.

          any thoughts ???

          others also, please.
          17 Time Bracelet Winner

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          • #6
            I do this more early in a tourney, when I don't have very good reads on my opponents. My thinking is get in cheap and muck if you miss. I've even done it with AK in multi-way pots, I'd rather see the flop before I commit a bunch of chips, especially if there are a lot of limpers. In a lot of tourneys, it doesn't matter how much you raise the majority will call and you're stuck in a multi way pot anyway.

            I'm kind of a nit, so take this advice with a grain of salt. YMMV

            Bracelet Winner


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            • #7
              Originally posted by fp_boss77 View Post
              Hi, thanks guys for your feedback!

              RockerguyAA

              Yeah, I understand the concept. The problem is that a lot of times when I play in the loose tables full of limpers (loose-passive) I wait for good hands and they rarely come before the 4th or 5th blind levels, which point I'm less then 10BB deep and have to start shoving weaker hands, and even when I got a AK some donkey hit something like 2 pair with 72o.
              I'm sort of thinking more along the lines of cash play. It should apply well to the early stages of a tournament as well. Once you pass that phase though, you do need to start loosening up. You don't have all day to sit around and wait in tournaments.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Django66 View Post
                hi jwk,


                i am experimenting with open limping instead of raising spec hands (deep stacked, anyway) since i figure i can call a raise (same price as raising and getting called,right?) but not a reraise, so, i get to play more hands, also, it encourages more limping behind, creating multiway pots, just what i want with those hands.

                i'm talking ep and mp, here.

                any thoughts ???

                others also, please.
                You can do that, but just remember that playing passively is rarely the optimal play. A more aggressive approach is often the better option, as it gives you more ways to win!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Django66 View Post
                  hi jwk, i am experimenting with open limping instead of raising spec hands (deep stacked, anyway) since i figure i can call a raise (same price as raising and getting called,right?) but not a reraise, so, i get to play more hands, also, it encourages more limping behind, creating multiway pots, just what i want with those hands. i'm talking ep and mp, here. any thoughts ??? others also, please.
                  Hi Django66! I don't like doing this, especially in a game with many experienced players, as they'll start raising basically every hand and limp/folding time after time at that type of table will be a big chip leak in the long run. I think it's better to raise the ones that I want to play and fold the others. Also, if a player is open-limping some hands and open-raising some hands, it can be a huge tell on what range they're holding (trust me on this as I used to do it too and got away from doing it). Hope this helps.umbup: John (JWK24)
                  Super-Moderator



                  6 Time Bracelet Winner


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                  • #10
                    I also thought that open limping would be too passive, but open 34s or 22 raising seems kinda weak. So in the end I think you should open raising medium suited connectors and 77+. Depending on the situation (if everyone folded) I'd raise with 22+ and lower suited connectors. What u guys think ?

                    O course that since I play TAG I wouldn't be opening too much of these speculative hands.

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