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How to Play Against Minbets

March 17, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

Join PokerStars Team Pro Lex Veldhuis as he talks through his decisions in a poker tournament. Focusing on playing against, and with minimum bets, this video will help you understand what hands to play, while also giving insight into what hands your opponents are playing based on their betting.

Preflop Play: How Deep Stacks Change Decisions

With deep stacks in the early stages of an online poker tournament, Lex explains that players can open raise with a wider range of hands. For example, with 50 big blinds, pocket pairs like 4s and 6s become open-raising hands under the gun. As stacks get shallower, tighter preflop ranges are required. Lex also discusses how to size your preflop raises based on the stack depths of opponents. Consider the table positions and your hand. If raises are coming before you, it’s safe to fold if you don’t have a strong pocket.

Post flop Play: Analysing Opponents and Board Texture

A key focus of the video is understanding how to analyse the post flop action of your opponents to determine the strength of their hands. For example, on a King-high board with two clubs, Lex explains that checking is often the best play against players in position who call preflop raises, as these players frequently have hands with strong equity.

Veldhuis also analyses how the texture of the board impacts your decision making. For instance, on paired boards where the big blind has an advantage, checking more frequently is a good idea. In contrast, on dry, unconnected boards, continuation betting is optimal as the preflop raiser is often a profitable play.

Minimum bets on a strong flop can also indicate bluffing, particularly if there are no raises on the turn or river. Understanding this can be important to win simple hands.

Bluffing and Value Betting

The video also covers how and when to bluff and value bet effectively. Lex discusses two factors that make hands good bluff candidates: 1) they block strong hands your opponent may call with, and 2) they have poor showdown value, so bluffing is necessary to win the pot.

For value betting, Lex looks at extracting value from players who may call too widely by betting 2/3 pot with hands like top pair, decent kicker. He emphasises the importance of sizing your bets appropriately based on your opponent type and the board texture.

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