Tuesday, June 05, 2007

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.

2 Comment(s):

Posted by Blogger Junelli, at 11:56 AM, June 12, 2007  

When I get JJ, I don't let people see flops. It's the only consistent way to win money.

I put in a huge raise before the flop and take down a small pot $30-$50. If you see a flop, you can't win (unless you're lucky and flop a Jack, and even then you're vulnerable to a straight, etc.).

If someone calls the big raise, you have a very good idea where they stand, and can proceed accordingly, including mucking your hand to action.

In my humble opinion, it's the only way to play JJ.


Posted by Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:17 AM, June 13, 2007  


Essentially, is your approach to playing JJ is no different than, say, 72o? With 72o, you can only really hope to win the pot pre-flop with a monster raise. You also are afraid of most flops except some very remote ones (for JJ, it is hitting the set and for 72o, I suppose it would be 2-pair, something like T72).

I guess the point of my post is that what can happen post-flop should affect your pre-flop decision, and whenever you get multiple limpers, it often means that there are several aces out there, which makes it unlikely that they will hit their ace and consequently likely that you can buy the pot on the flop (no different for JJ vs 72o). But with JJ, you might win a lot of money with an overpair (say AT hits a T on the flop). I think it is just likely enough for this to happen (the higher number of limpers increases the chances of someone hitting their top-pair-ace-kicker), and if you do, you might get a lot of money out of your opponent. This is a unique situation to hands like QQ and JJ that are high enough to still be higher than the board and it is an even better situation when there are multiple limpers (presumably with Ax) that might think they are in good shape with top pair Ace kicker. To go even further, it is less likely in this situation that they draw out on you by hitting their second pair with all the aces out there.



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