Fixed Limit Strategy.
What is your position at the table?
THE FOUR POSITION GROUPS
As you probably already noticed, there are four different position groups:
2 late positions
The dealer himself and the player to his right form the late position.
3 middle positions
The following three players form the middle position.
3 early positions
The next three are in the early position as they have to act early in each betting round.
2 blind positions
The two players who pay the blinds make up their own group. The player to the left of the dealer is the small blind, followed by the big blind.
WHEN PLAYERS LEAVE THE TABLE
What if a player leaves the table? When this happens, the first early position simply drops out, so there are only two early positions instead of three. If another player leaves the table, only one early position remains.
Is your hand worth playing?
Starting Hands Chart tells you which hands to play in which way. Simply print it out and you will always know what to do during the game.
The chart combines three bits of information:
Your starting hand
What your opponents have done before you
THE HAND GROUPS
An s behind the card name signifies suited and means that both cards are of the same suit. For example AQs means Ace Queen of the same suit. An o signifies offsuited and means that the cards are of different suits.
THE FIRST COLUMN: WHAT HAVE YOUR OPPONENTS DONE?
In the first column you see every possible answer to what your opponents could have done so far. Of course you play differently if e.g. there has been a raise, as this usually represents a strong hand.
SECOND TO SIXTH COLUMN: YOUR ACTION ACCORDING TO YOUR POSITION
Your current position tells you which column to check. If you are in the early position, you look at the second column; if you are in the big blind, you look at the last column.
MORE THAN ONE RAISE IN FRONT OF YOU
An easy to handle, special case arises if more than one raise takes place before your turn. The SHC only shows you what to do if there has been one raise, as the inclusion of cases with multiple raises would only make it unnecessarily long.
If more than one raise happens before you bet, you muck all your hands except for the very strong ones, like AA, KK, QQ, AKs and AKo. With these hands you raise even further, as they are top hands and you can use them to inflict maximum pressure.
Some practical examples
What to do if somebody raises after you?
The SHC covers almost every possible game situation, except for one: you join the pot and there's a raise after you. These special cases will be dealt with now.
THERE HAS BEEN EXACTLY ONE RAISE AFTER YOU
If there has only been one raise, you call it with any hand you joined the pot with, in any situation. If your hand is part of the very strong hands' group, such as AA, KK, QQ, AKs or AKo, you raise even further.
MORE THAN ONE RAISE AFTER YOU
With more than one raise, you need to act carefully as this represents strong hands. You therefore only call with hands from the strong hands' group, such as JJ, TT, 99, AQs, AQo and AJs.
If your hand forms part of the very strong hands' group, like AA, KK, QQ, AKs or AKo, you raise even further as previously mentioned, because your hand is strong enough to build up significant pressure.
EXAMPLE 5 - TWO TENS
Position Early Position
Situation You raise from an early position with a pair of tens. Everyone folds, until one player in middle position re-raises you.
Your pair is not strong enough for you to re-re-raise him. But folding is out of the question too. Regardless of what you entered the game with, it's not worth folding because of just one more small bet. In this example, you'd simply call his raise.
Congratulations. With this article you already learned a major part of the fixed limit strategy. You now know that your playing style depends on your position and that the starting hands chart tells you which cards to play. Last but not least, you know how to react accordingly if players raise after you.
Fixed Limit Strategy.