June 15, 2008
Filed Under (Poker) by crumble on 15-06-2008

I want to think about minimum raises for a bit. When players make these raises in an EatMyStack game, the regulars point and jeer, metaphorically and sometimes literally.

But something Marc Goodwin wrote in Inside Poker magazine caught my eye recently.

Marc said:

“One thing I teach players in the Bad Beat Trader programme is a thing called CPS – control, position and starting hands. That is the order in which poker is played. Everyone thinks starting hands are the first thing, but the whole point of poker is to have control of the hand.”

Spot on, Marc. Every half-decent player knows this, but I don’t remember seeing it written down so succinctly.

Why is this relevant to minimum raises? Well it seems to me that when a player makes a minimum raise he often succeeds in taking control of the hand. On the flop you will see all the callers “check to the raiser” just the same as if there had been a bigger raise.

Also, if there are tight players on the left of the raiser, the minimum raise will often succeed in buying position. just as effectively as a bigger raise.

So if your starting hand is one that will welcome extra callers, isn’t a minimum raise ideal for seeing a flop cheaply but getting paid off big if you connect?

Food for thought, I reckon. I feel an experiment coming on.

SteveDaRake on June 18th, 2008 at 11:40 pm #

Interesting thoughts, I would not advocate min-raising as part of a standard strategy, but now and again to mix up your game (esp in games against players you’ve played alot before) maybe used as a semi-bluff I feel it can be effective. Especially if you have a rep as a tricky or agro player, it immediately looks suss and you can get away with a few moves.

I also like min-raising in SB v BB confrontations in MTTs in mid to late stages of the tourney with a big pair or AK, often they will come back over the top of you with air.