Posted by Dr Fro 2:33 PM
Two ways to play JJ on the button
Scenario 1: You have been dealt JJ on the button. There are two early limpers and the guy to your right raises 3xBB.
Scenario 2: You have been dealt JJ on the button. There are no early limpers and the guy to your right raises 3xBB.
How do the early limpers change your decision on the right way to play this hand in scenario 1?
Well, for starters, the typical goal pre-flop with high pairs to get heads-up. JJ is tricky because anytime an A, K or Q falls, you are a little scared to bet. Narrowing the field to heads-up helps you a lot because approximately two thirds of the time your heads-up opponent will miss the flop. In fact, heads-up, it isn’t a bad idea to close your eyes and bet the pot on the flop no matter what it is. Your opponent will probably fold 2/3 of the time and you are getting 1:1 payoff.
Understanding this flop play is integral to the pre-flop play. So, what is the difference between scenario 1 versus 2? You have two limpers, and what do limpers most often limp with? Ace-X. So, you may be looking at a situation in which up several people have Ace-X meaning that there is perhaps only a case ace left in the deck (or none at all!). So, you should be a big favorite here because they have fewer outs than they may think. So your goal is to get as much money as possible in the pot pre-flop.
So do you raise or call? If you raise, you will probably make both limpers to fold, but if you call, they may think they (and the blinds) are getting good odds on their hand and call. Thus, you can get more money in the pot with a call than a raise and you should consider just calling.
Hope for flopping a set, but you should feel quite comfortable betting if the flop gives you an overpair. You just might get calls from top pair, top kicker (one of the Ax limpers).
Contrast this with scenario 2 where the more conventional move, a raise, seems to be a no-brainer. It will get you heads-up by getting the blinds to fold. If the original raiser re-raises, you have to think he has QQ-AA and consider folding. If he calss, you can just fire into the flop regardless of what comes up. Two-thirds of the time, you should win.