Poker news | Jan 26, 2022
Pre-Flop Poker Strategy with Dominik Nitsche
By RTR Alex
In their latest strategy video, 888Poker ambassador and four time WSOP bracelet winner, Dominik Nitsche, takes you through his five top tips for preflop play. As one of the greatest tournament players in the world right now, we can guarantee he knows his rivers and runs from his turns and straights. The video is perfect for newbies looking to gain an edge before the flop has even landed.
Dominik recommends being far more open to a quick fold with marginal hands. If you're under the gun and you don't have a strong hand, you could be throwing chips away with an early bet. It's likely someone at the table has landed something far more playable.
The same goes for calling raises too - if you're next to the gun, calling a raise without a great hand could leave you vulnerable to challenging re-raises from the rest of the table. You could get stuck in a hand you don't want to back down from and lose more chips than you can afford. Always bet sensibly and with the odds in mind!
Preflop Hand Charts
Speaking of the odds - a solid grasp on the preflop hand charts will keep you level-headed when entering a hand. Knowing the correct moments to raise, call or fold given the win probability of your preflop hand is an indispensable tool and was the first thing Nitsche did at the start of his poker journey.
This is a great chart to help guide your early bets for pocket pairs or suited cards, but there are many many more to keep an eye on.
Master Short Stack Play
Perhaps one of the toughest spots in poker is having the short stack. It limits your ability to call potential bluffs without risking your position, while also restricting your ability to bluff the big stacks into a fold. You're always on the back foot with a short stack, and this is where so many mistakes are made.
For that reason, Nitsche recommends that beginners focus heavily on short stack plays. This will help you maintain strength in the hand no matter your stack size. Specifically, memorising 8-12 big blind shoving ranges will help you endlessly. You'll encounter this in every live or online poker tournament you play, so knowing what to do with the big blind from any seat at the table will always come in handy.
Defend Your Big Blind
Another note about the big blind is that you'll always be inclined to defend it. When you're already invested in a hand, it's vital to stay sensible with your follow-up bets. Weak hands will be dominated by good opponents that know you're only in the pot to defend your blind, so be careful chasing those chips!
Small Blind Cheap Flops
If folded action finds its way to you with the small blind, you're in luck. Unless you're up against a very smart big-blinder, you should be able to see the flop for half the price they'll pay. You should always be looking to enter the pot with a call or a raise if you open betting from the small blind. You'll usually find yourself getting a cheap run up to the turn and river.
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