Pre Flop Hand Selection

In selecting when to play a hand and when to not play a hand there are many factors that come into play. The type of table you are sitting at and how other players perceive your play will be the main considerations in your pre flop hand selection.

Hand Selection at Loose Tables

Playing at a higher limit table with loose aggressive players you should select only premium hands so that these players won’t outclass you and you feel like you can hold your own with them. Playing hands like mid to big sized pairs and AK or AQ should be your range of hands. But when selecting when to play a hand and position you are in is the main thing as timing is everything in the game of poker. Reading a hand wrong if someone is playing aggressive and you re-raise pre-flop with a hand like 99 could really shoot yourself in the foot so flatting may be a better play if the player plays heavy pre-flop and apply pressure on them post-flop to win the pot. Oppose to that though picking up a big hand against an aggressive player you would want to give them the opportunity to bet.  So playing pre-flop against a very aggressive player you almost always want to 3 bet but you could flat call and raise the flop. Either way it’s not a bad play as long as you get the most that is possible from them.  Playing out of position is hard if you flat pre-flop with a big hand. The best play is 3 betting than continuation betting and check raising the turn against an aggressive player to allow for max equity. So wait for hands at an aggressive table and trap your opponents.

Hand Selection at Tight or Passive Tables

At a somewhat tight or passive table you should open up your range of hands to almost any hands that are above 89 suited in position and 3 bet weak players with a vast range of hands and continue aggression on the flop to increase ROI and give yourself a higher fold equity from the player your against in the hand. Sitting at a passive table and looking down at AA and getting re-raised pre-flop are two of the best feelings in poker today. If you are perceived as a loose aggressive player 4 betting pre-flop may be the best play but if they have a hand like JJ or QQ flatting the 3 bet and hopefully seeing a low card flop could get you their whole stack on the flop and they will never be able to put you on aces. In that situation they will just look at their hand if they see you are playing a wide range and almost nobody will be able to fold a big pair against an aggressive player.