How much should a pre-flop raise be in a no-limit game?
Many players raise too large before the flop in no-limit games. If the big blind is twice the small blind, or thereabout, and there are no antes, then the most profitable routine opening raise is 2.75 times the big blind.
Usually, you should choose an amount from 2.5 to 3 times the big blind, while rarely varying it with something larger or even with a minimum raise of just twice the big blind.
This might sound strange to you, because you're used to seeing opening raises of 5 times the big blind and more quite often. But 2.75, with mild variation, is appropriate and enough to do the job.
Over a long period of time, opening raises averaging larger than 3 times the big blind become less profitable. And don't forget, calling, rather than raising, is often a good choice, despite what you've heard.
What if there are already other players who voluntarily entered the pot? Then you should add approximately 70 percent of that additional money to your raise.
I'm sharing this information because I want you to know what I've discovered by research. You're invited to agree or disagree below. It's your forum.
-- Mike Caro
(Grammar note: I've deliberately chosen to use numbers above that would normally be spelled as words -- like "3", instead of "three" -- because numbers with decimal fractions are included. I'm aware that nine or less is usually spelled thusly. So, no grammatical nitpicking on that one, please. I'm sure I'll make plenty of other mistakes you can correct.)
Upon what rationale do you base the statement that "a raise of 2.75x is most profitable, first to act"?
I tend to sit in most games with a 100bb start stack, and when that is a common stack size, I agree that a 2.5x - 3x open raise sizing is often better than more typical "big" raises.
That smaller sizing does not act as a major deterrent to getting max value from looser and more aggressive opponents, but it also is not nearly as costly to fold if substantial play back occurs behind when you open the lower end of your raise range. Also, considering that the most common opponent mistake tends to be calling too much, the smaller sizing often encourages bad calls.
I am curious though sir, about your reasons for this statement.
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