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Small Blind Strategy - Six Max Cash

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  • Small Blind Strategy - Six Max Cash

    I’m looking for advice on a strategy when you are folded to in the SB. I’ve seen JL promote a strategy of limping 80% of hands, never raising. I can see why this is effective in tournaments but the high rake in small stakes cash seems to make this a suboptimal play. Affleck has stated the exact opposite - never limp from SB to avoid paying rake. The six max online charts advocate a mixed strategy where we chop up the ranges so that we are both raising and limping good/subpar hands.

    Which of these strategies do you find most effective and why?

  • #2
    I followed the SB strategy as outlined in the 6-max charts for a few months and thought nothing of it.

    My coach then pointed out that it quite simply was not working.

    I've reverted back to a raise/fold strategy from the SB and it makes post-flop play just so much easier. My sample size is too small to say for sure that it's proving more profitable for me, but I'm 95% sure that it is.

    And now, having said all that, I still think limping the SB might have a place as part of an exploitative strategy. If our villain in the BB has FTS >80/85 then maybe limping our premium hands has some merit and will allow us to eek out a few more BBs. And if our opponent stats are that extreme then I'd wager that they are a fairly weak, passive opponent and so I wouldn't be concerned about limping weaker hands for balance.

    What are your thoughts on it?


    • #3
      i will sometimes use a strategy that incorporates limps (as per the charts) if there's a reg in the big blind. if not i will just play raise/fold. most people at 10nl are not defending correctly and definitely fold too much.


      • #4
        Since posting this I've starting reading Mastering Small Stakes. They cover playing the small blind against a variety of opponents. I'll focus on weak tight as that's a very common adversary at 10nl. JL states that if the opponent is defending the big blind less than 36% of the time "you can almost assuredly raise with nearly 100% of hands". It's super common to see fold to three bet stats in the 70-85% range. Against these opponents I've started raising real wide. I'm not going to 100% of hands - I want some equity if called - but I'm opening up to probably a 75% range. I've added the three bet steal stat to my HUD. I'll tighten up considerably if the opponent is likely to three bet or fold. Are there other HUD stats we should be using to determine the best approach?

        LondonImp I agree with your raise/fold approach. Sometimes the content on PC blurs the line between tournament to small stakes cash to high stakes cash. I can see limping from SB being a viable strategy in tournaments or even in a timed rake game. At most lower levels the hardest opponent seems to be the rake. I too have played around with limping premium pairs. It doesn't come up often enough to get a great sample size. Perhaps I'm using the PT4 filters incorrectly, but I'm only finding four instances where I limped QQ+ or Ak from SB. Every other time I raised.


        • #5

          I'm not sure what the relevance of the F3B when stealing SB v BB? Are you now talking about a resteal strategy (i.e. SB v BTN/CO open)? Or defending your BB against a SB steal? These situations are vastly different.

          I have a really detailed HUD pop-up when it comes to all things stealy.

          Instead of using the PT4 filters, maybe you'd find it better using the hand range visualiser function instead?


          • AJH914
            AJH914 commented
            Editing a comment
            I’m referring to the three bet steal stat. So if I’m stealing from SB (or button) and the opponent doesn’t fold I want an idea if they are going to continue by calling or three betting to resteal. If there’s a reasonable chance I’ll get three bet then I tighten up my steal range significantly.

            I’m not familiar with the hand range visualized. There are a lot of parts to PT4 I haven’t gone through yet. I’ll give it a Google.