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Home Game Strategy

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  • Home Game Strategy

    Hey all,

    I'm looking for a little help with a virtual home game, .50/1, that I've been playing for the last month or so. It's about the same group of people and when I first started, I was doing great. Nowadays, not so much and I'm hoping to correct that.

    First off, the table is huge on Limp-Call. Depending on the player, if there's a raise, it's at least AJs+, 88+ and possibly suited broadways. An overbet pre-flop is always KK or AA.
    It also upsets the table when I raise pre-flop on a regular basis. That is, I never open-limp and in general, I'd raise a limp with 99+, 89s+. Because it's a home game, and I don't want to be the a-hole, I started calling more limps, but I generally still don't open-limp.

    There's no way to know for sure people's hand histories, but there's only 1 or 2 players that will bluff when they have nothing.
    Most players here will raise with semi-bluff hands, have the nuts, or on occasion raise with over-valued hands.

    Generally, it's easy to spot when someone misses their draw, especially flushes.

    When I play, I have Jonathan's preflop charts printed and sitting next to me. I check every hand against the preflop charts and starting to quickly memorize these charts.
    So, for instance, if I could be MP with two limps and I raise when the chart tells me to. I raise 2.5xBB and anyone that limped will call. Anyone with trash -usually- folds, but people will still call with 78o, 85s, etc.
    The flop comes and if I have a hand, that's fairly straight forward to play. If I miss but I have an overcard or two, I try to check/call. I could bet more, but it seems like bleeding money, at least at this table.

    If I have a draw, and I bet, there's always one player who will reraise me. He almost always knows that I have a draw, and even says, 'no free cards to a draw.' If I get the right odds, usually with a flush, I'll call. And as these things are, sometimes I miss (it seems I miss more often than not) and now I'm bleeding money from my bet and reraise. If I don't bet my draw, that player sometimes will raise, but sometimes won't. If the draw hits then, it's tougher to get paid off, at least from him.

    Playing range vs. range can work out. If I'm in early position and there's AKK on the board and I c-bet, I can often take it down.
    Other times, I fun into people with sets or garbage two-pair because they had 85s on a K8925.

    You wouldn't think it would be too hard to adjust knowing how these players play. There's one who will never ever raise unless they have the stone nuts (or mistakenly overvalue their hand). There are a few that will c-bet the flop no matter what and often have nothing on the Turn. There is one or two that will call with the lowest of pairs, even when there's a draw present. And a few that will only bet when they have top pair, two pair or better. But I'm not doing as well as I think I should, or at least as well as I had been. I know that I need to exploit my opponent's mistakes, but it seems like I'm zigging when I should zag and generally doing poorly for it.

    Any help, guidance, or ideas are appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by albone View Post
    It also upsets the table when I raise pre-flop on a regular basis. That is, I never open-limp and in general, I'd raise a limp with 99+, 89s+. Because it's a home game, and I don't want to be the a-hole, I started calling more limps, but I generally still don't open-limp.
    Getting dragged down by group-think is not good.

    You need to ask yourself why you are playing this home game.

    Are you playing to win as much money as possible? Then tough sh!t for them if they don't like your raises, I don't like it either when my opponents constantly make the right moves against me! My advice would be to simply play as if your opponents weren't your friends and you're trying to bleed them dry. Just remember to smile and be friendly so they still have a good time and won't want to stop playing.

    Are you playing to enjoy yourself and guarantee you're going to get invited back? Then crack open a beer, realise you're not going to be playing a normal game of poker, and just enjoy yourself!

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