4. The pre-flop minimum raise (a.k.a. the pot builder raise).

 

 

The min raise seems to have become an epidemic in the small stakes online cash games. My advise is to STOP making these pre-flop min raises. One of the main reasons we raise in the first place is to define our opponents hand. The min raise provides little information about your opponents hand. For Example, you raise in middle position with 10J suited to $4 in a $1/$2 no-limit cash game. The button calls and the small and big blind calls. We know that people will play their buttons with weaker hands and since we made such a small pre-flop raise the button could be playing almost any two cards here. And with two callers already the big blind has to call with just about any two cards. So now we are up against three opponents who could have any two cards. If we were to raise to $7 and the button calls we are able to put the player on a range of hands at least - small to medium pair or QK suited type hand. We have gained some information from our raise.

 

***If the game you are playing in is "tight" and a min-raise is enough to steal the blinds a fair percentage of the time than there is nothing wrong with min-raising pre-flop. But min-raising just for the sake of min raising (with no real purpose behind it) is not a great strategy, especially for the beginner player. If you are min raising pre-flop you are going to be seeing more flops so you need a strong post flop game in order to be min-raising pre-flop (which most beginners do not have).***

 

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