Essential Facts about Raising in No Limit
If you want to get anywhere in No Limit, you will have to learn how to use the raise. Contrary to what some believe, the raise is not something that you just utilize when you have the nuts. It is a complex tool that you need to understand both to use as a weapon and protect yourself.
One of the No Limit strategies that is often employed by players is the minimum raise, which basically means putting up an amount equal to the big blind at the start of the game. When this happens, the presumption is that the raiser is holding a premium hand, because he is only raising the minimum amount so that he will not scare off the other players.
In this case, most players like to fold because they believe that the raiser has a strong hand. However, in some cases it may be better to call, because if he is not holding high hands or you hit a good flop you can gain the advantage. Even if you miss, it will be quite easy to fold especially if your hand is not that strong anyway.
What should be kept in mind is that in No Limit, a lot of players that make the minimum raise do not do so just because they have something solid but also because they want to build a pot. You have to read the situation carefully.
As for raising hands, your No Limit strategy will depend on your position. Some people believe that the earlier you are to act, the harder you should bet, because as the game goes on, being under the gun will work against you so you need to end the hand as soon as possible. The argument against this is that if you raise from early position you run the risk of facing a re raise.
For this reason others prefer a No Limit strategy of raising when in late position, as it removes this threat and also allows them the opportunity to steal more blinds.
You will also of course have to consider the strength of your hands; ideally you will want to raise with marginal hands, the reason being that by being aggressive early, you may force some of your No Limit opponents to fold and increase the drawing value of your hand.
If you hold a strong hand, then you should play it more passively, because what you want the other players to do is to play on and put more money in the pot.
There is no single best No Limit strategy for playing the raising game. It will all depend on the situation. Only by playing on and studying the game will you be able to make the correct judgments,, so the real key to successfully using the raise is to play on.