Take Minimum Bet Trap
You’re playing a 6 man game with the blinds $.5 and $1. The dealer sends pocket Jacks your way and you put out your normal raise which in this case would be $3. This size raise is common with this type of hand. What happens next that should raise your eye brow is when you get one caller and another opponent doubles your bet making it another $3 to call. This is the minimum bet trap.
This transparent play happens all the time. What would you put your opponent on? It’s really a brain dead move by most recreational poker players. He bets so little that he is pleading a call and he probably holds Aces or Kings.
So you know that you’re beat right? That’s exactly why you are going to call his bet every time. Why call when you know you’re beat? That takes us back to implied odds. Your opponent just gave you over 3 to 1 on your money. Plus, you know what he holds making your post flop play even easier.
The Two Flaws
I’d hope you as a player would never make this type of move. This play by your opponent has two major flaws. Not only did he give his hand away to a veteran player but he just gave you great implied odds to take all of his chips. Any player who uses the minimum raise strategy with a monster pair is cruising for a bruising and they are usually the ones who complain about their Aces and Kings never holding up.
O.K. so after the flop is where the dog fight is going to happen. If you don’t flop another Jack or improve your hand in anyway you do not want to put very much money into the pot. Technically you are drawing to 2 outs which is not a good probability on your side. On a better note, if a Jack so happens to hit you can stun your opponent and take all of his chips. Take him to the cleaners for his entire stack.
Like I said the bare minimum raise strategy with a big pre-flop pair is an awful strategy. Here is what your opponent should have done. When you raised the “normal” raise which is usually 3 times the blind he should have pushed at least the size of the pot. This would have made your decision much harder and made you question about whether your hand was still good. Many times you will see that pushing before the flop with Aces or Kings will force anyone with AK or QQ, or JJ to go all in pre-flop anyways.
After The Flop Minimum Raise
Minimum raises occur after the flop as well. Again, let’s assume this time you have AA and you put out the normal raise pre-flop and get called. After the flop you bet and someone raises you the minimum. Why would someone put out a bet that pleads for a call when the pot is already sizeable? Probably because they just flopped a set and want to keep you in the hand.
River Card Minimum Raise
When you get re-raised the minimum at the river there is really nothing you can do but call. The size of the pot is usually big at this point in the hand and a small re-raise will have to be called. Say you hold the second best hand and you were planning on pushing hard on the river card. If at any time someone minimum re-raises; just call. Don’t push because you’re probably up against the nuts.
Summing It Up
So to sums things up, be wary of any player who uses the minimum bet after a good pre-flop raise. Also watch out for post-flop and river-card minimum re-raises. On the river when someone puts out a minimum re-raise you would probably be pot committed at that time. Just make sure you don’t do anything foolish like re-raise when you’re not sure if you have the winner.
Back to all poker strategy articles