Sep 19, 2019


Hand Ranges Play a Significant Role in Poker

Note: This article deals with hands only in No Limit Hold ‘em Poker.

You’re sitting at a low-stakes cash game either online or live. All the players seem to be amateurs - lots of calls pre-flop, everyone plays too many hands etc. This should be an easy way to pick up some chips for you, but for some reason, the cards aren’t flopping!

While being tight-aggressive is the right way to play at such a table, you can still be hit by variance or make a mistake due to playing out of position. In such cases, it can be hard to know how to go about your game pre-flop.

With this handy cheat-sheet though, you’ll always have a reference point to use when playing loose low-stakes games. Bear in mind this is specifically for loose-passive tables, when players aren’t raising often pre-flop and tend to always call.

Hand Chart

Raise Always

These hands are self-explanatory. When you’re holding such hole cards, you want to maximise value for them by raising. Generally you would like to raise 4-5 BBs, and 1BB for every player that has already called or is left to play.

Raise from late position, otherwise call

These are hands that are still great, and you’d definitely want to see a flop when holding these hole cards. However, when in an early position, you don’t want to raise and be forced into a situation where someone 3-bets or 4-bets. It’s best to raise with these hands when you’re in a middle or late position.

Always call

Low pocket-pairs and high suited connectors are hands that offer good value in a game where everyone is calling pre-flop. If you happen to hit a set, straight or flush with these hands, then you’re in a dominant position where other players are betting big against you with top pair. Such hands don’t hit often, but when they do, the sheer number of players betting in to the pot will give you a great chance to win big.

Call from late position

These hands are similar to the previous set, except the chance of hitting a winning hand is lower. There is also the need to be more cautious here since you might be on the losing end if you have a lower straight then your opponent. All in all, you want to play these hands when play is passive and many players are in the pot.

As mentioned, this chart only covers play for a specific type of table play. Watch this space for more opening hand combinations for other types of gameplay!

Be a Tactful Player

It’s an established rule in poker that you never limp if you are the first player to enter the pot. However, what should be your plan of action if your opponent is a limper?

Be the Attacker

One of the major things to remember is that opponents who are limping are very rarely holding a strong hand. This means they are betting mostly in the hope of hitting something on the flop. In such cases, bet big and aggressively to prevent others from entering the pot and aim to make it a one-on-one with your opponent.

The other advantage you have against them is that they are usually not the most skilled poker players on the table. A great thing about iso-raising is that limpers would mostly call a raise and then compliantly fold when they don’t hit the flop.

Scan the Table Diligently

Observe what kind of players you have behind you. Be careful when you are iso-raising and you have a skilled player behind you. They might manage to read your strategy and act accordingly. In this case, you can choose to bet widely but try to keep your bet size down. This gives you the easy option of folding in case someone 3-bets.

If everyone on the table is passive and tends to call a lot, then big bets make more sense when trying to isolate an opponent.

On the contrary, the table will also have players who are limping to trick you and might re-raise against your raise. So practice on reading your opponents and then review every move you made after the game ends.

Limping Behind

It is not advised to limp right at the beginning of the game, but as the dynamics change so does your strategy. Limping is more sensible when someone playing before you has limped and it looks difficult like you’ll be able to go heads-up against anyone by making a large bet.

Limping is also a decent idea when the players after you tend to call easily and you aren’t holding a very strong hand.

In cases where you hand is good but players are aggressive, limping into the pot prevents them from 3-betting over you and forcing you to fold.

Let us know if this strategy helped you. Until then, keep slaying the limpers off the table! 

Play to Spread Smiles!

Let your poker skills help you bring a significant change in the lives of many while winning big. Earlier this year, PokerBaazi invited you to #PlayForACause and raised funds to sponsor the education of 40 young girls during our flagship online tournament series- PokerBaazi Premier League (PPL) in association with KHUSHII, an NGO that works towards empowering women.

This Independence Day, PokerBaazi along with its sister companies (BalleBaazi & RummyBaazi), have added an additional 10 girls making it a total of 50. So we all will be hosting various online events to raise funds with PokerBaazi alone hosting three different events.

Let your Winning Hand be the Helping Hand they need

As we celebrate the day of freedom, let’s use our knowledge of the game to do some good. Let’s raise the ante to help raise our girls.

Be a part of #KhushiyonKiBaazi. Following are the details of the online events that will help us raise funds:

  • 47K GTD Freedom Free Entry Tournament

Celebrate freedom and win big as this free entry tournament will go live on 15th August at 5:30 PM.

  • Freedom Tournament

Scheduled to go live on 15th August at 8 PM, this tournament will feature a buy-in worth INR 1500. The fee collected from this tournament will be matched by PokerBaazi and will be donated towards the cause.

  • 73K GTD Freedom Free Entry Tournament

This tournament will roll out on 15th August at 9 PM. It’s a free entry tournament which means you can do your bit without spending anything.

Basically, play as much as you can and contribute the most. Register for our tournaments and be a part of this noble cause.


Khushii is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organisation working for the upliftment of underprivileged children, women and vulnerable families. Founded in 2003, the NGO has been working against poverty, social neglect and abandonment and has impacted over 5 lakh lives.

It feels great to work in association with an organisation that is working hard towards bettering the lives of many.

Stay tuned to our social media channels for the latest updates on the same. Let’s ante up to contribute the most!

How to Fight High Variance in MTTs?

Downswings are a part of every gamer’s life and even the most-skilled poker players get a taste of it quite often. Here are a few points to follow as you build your bankroll for our upcoming biggie- GameChanger 2 Crore GTD (21st August- 25th August) that features a buy-in of only INR 5500!

Look out for your bankroll

One of the most common mistakes players make is that they are buying into tournaments that are higher than their bankroll.

As we know, multi-table tournaments come with heavy variance. An important factor to consider is that your higher buy-in can handle a significant blow or not.

Generally, the players aim to have at least 300+ buy-ins for the stakes they play, however, this also depends on the structure and the format of the game.

For example, if you play tournaments with a large field or games that are quick-structured such as turbos, then you need to have a larger bankroll (300-500 buy-ins).

However, if you like to play games with smaller fields or slow structured tournaments, then you can get away with a smaller bankroll (200+ buy-ins).

Move down in stakes when necessary

If and when you face a major blow to your bankroll, try to move down in stakes because this will help you build you bankroll once again and in a steady manner. Although it’s natural to hesitate in doing so, it does help you in the long run.

Sell action

Selling a percentage of your tournament action is a smart way to reduce the effects of variance. This helps because in doing so, you will be free to play the same kind of games you played earlier.

When you sell action, an investor gets to take a percentage of your profit which depends on how much they have invested.

Avoid playing while tilted

If you feel that you’re tilting and negative mindset is getting a hold of you, then try to be away from the felts as soon as you can. If you choose not to do this, it will simply affect you further. You’ll not be completely alert and will see yourself getting crushed by a fish.

Take a break because your bankroll is way more important than your need to keep playing.

Study aggressively

Downswings is a common phenomenon and a smart way to combat it is to review your hands and analyse your strategy.

You can also choose to approach another pro with whom you can productive discussions. This will significantly reduce the number of leaks in your gameplay.


Now that you’re ready to become invincible, gear up for India’s biggest online poker tournament- GameChanger. We are giving away FREE tickets as well, so stay tuned to our social media channels!

This is Where All the Action is!

The late stages of a poker tournament include the process starting at the bursting of the bubble to the first-place finish at the FT.

Before you start reading about the late stage, go read about how to play early and mid-stages of a poker tournament and come back after.

So here are a few poker strategy tips to keep in mind if you aim to have a deeper run in a game:

Understanding ICM Implications

Due to Independent Chip Modelling (ICM) implications, a particular play may pan out depending on the stage of the tournament the game is currently on. The most intense play is when the ICM pressure is the highest- when players are playing to finish in the bubble. This happens because the pay jumps are massive.

As the players start aiming to reach the final table, the ICM pressure continues to build up.

The most important goal after the bubble should be to build the biggest stack as fast as possible even if it means that you could bust out.

Post Bubble Strategy

A player’s aim should be to build an above-average stack for the final table until the pay jumps become massive again. There is no point in playing conservatively with a short stack at this stage of the game. So if you have a short stack in this phase of the game, start playing aggressively.

Busting out of the game at this stage wouldn’t be a big deal because the next pay jump will not be a significant one.

It goes without saying that a player shouldn’t take unnecessary risks to build a healthy stack, but they will be subject to additional pressure with a short stack if they fail to act and blind out.

Basically, any decision that would help increase the value of a player’s tournament payout, in the long run, should be considered.

Final Table Strategy

At this stage, the ICM pressure begins to increase once again as the players reach the final table. The intensity of the effect depends on the size of the pay jumps. So larger gaps in the payouts mean higher intensity of ICM pressure experienced by the players at the FT.

For example:

Player 1: 7,000 chips

Player 2: 10,000 chips

Player 3: 15,000 chips

If you are player 2, you would want player 1 and player 3 to get head-to-head and try to play tightly.

If you are player 1, you would expect player 2 and player 3 to get into a head-to-head battle. This would zero down your risk of any loss and will let you finish in the second place. However, if they are not being in the confrontational phase, then you are definitely under a lot of pressure.

So when professional players talk about the ICM pressure, they are referring to different kinds of pressure depending on your position on the table.

  • Big stacks enjoy the advantage of the fact that players show to try to avoid getting involved with them.
  • Mid-stacks play tighter, hoping to eliminate others.
  • The shortest stack faces the highest intensity of pressure to make a move first.
  • Players try to get involved with players with whom they have covered earlier to avoid the risk of elimination.

Apart from this, there is obviously the psychological factor that comes into play. However, you can prepare yourself by studying the sport and the format of the poker variant you will be playing next.

We think you’re prepared to take a plunge in the poker action. Register for GameChanger 2 Crore GTD which is scheduled to go live on 21st August and is featuring half the buy-in as before- INR 5500 instead of INR 11000!

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