In this post we are going to look at some of the best ways to profitably play from the button, I see a tonne of players making mistakes whilst playing from this position, some players play way too tight and others play it too aggressively so we aim to fine-tune our plays with the info in this post.
Blinds 50/100 Tournament with 10,000 starting stacks effective
CO: Raises to 250
How do we play this hand from the Button?
We will want to be 3-Betting with these types of hands from the Button, calling is OK too, we would likely turn a profit by smooth calling, but then we are sometimes allowing the blinds into the pot too so whilst our hand plays well multiway it’s good to just grab the bull by the horns with this positional advantage against our late position raising opponent who will have a wide range and put in a nice re-steal here.
A sizing like 700 is fine, we don’t need to go too big having position.
Flop: K♥ T♥ 4♣
Do we then continue on this board type?
Well, I don’t mind checking back this hand, we can pick up some backdoor equity if we hit a low card that will give us a straight draw, but in general, this is probably the worst board for our hand we could ever ask for, we have no spade and this board favours our opponents hands that can call a 3-Bet.
Some players always pull the trigger when they have 3-Bet pre-flop, but this is a leak, we aren’t always going to have great boards to continue on so there is no need to fire 100% here, we can have some give-ups.
Good Ace High Hands On the Button
Blinds 25/50 Tournament with 3,000 stacks effective
BTN: A♣ J♠ Raise to 150
So we obviously just raise this pot, we have a good hand, it’s folded to us on the Button, the one thing that is worth talking about here is how much should we make it?
Well players seem to always just min-raise their whole range, but in this type of spot our opponent in the Big Blind is going to defend a super wide range, so we are more incentivised to put more money in this pot with our good hand here on the button to get the pot as big as possible for when we flop well.
With all this in mind, we use the full 3x sizing.
Flop: K♦ Q♥ 8♦
So we miss yet again, so what do we do now?
We don’t have too much incentive to bet in this pot, we can have a tonne of better hands that will connect better with this board and whilst betting small has some merit so does just checking this back, we have a good Ace high hand that has some showdown value and we have a gutshot to the nuts, so I mix slightly between betting small to attempt to see all five cards here and checking back too.
The biggest mistake we could make on a board like this is to bet large, we will only keep in strong hands that have us beat and when we get check-raised off our hand we have burned up many more chips that we needed to.
Call, Cold 4-Bet or Fold?
Blinds 100/200 Tournament with 10,000 starting stacks effective
UTG+1: Raises to 500
MP: Raises to 1400
BTN: J♠ J♦
What should we do here?
We have a pretty awkward spot here, the initial raiser will have a pretty strong hand to be raising from early position and then the range that wants to 3-Bet against this player will have an even tighter range of hands.
If our opponent has hands like JJ+, AKo+ AQs+ which is a pretty typical range of hands here for the 3 Bettor we will have around 38% equity, which is a pretty big disadvantage to go into this hand.
I think Jacks is pretty much the line for folding here, I think we could continue with Queens and better but with Jacks we will just be in bad shape enough where folding won’t be too bad, we do have another option here.
We could try and smooth call in some scenarios, however when the initial raiser wants to 4-Bet then we are just burning up our money, so with this in mind just make the fold, so many players get themselves in sticky spots with hands like this, I see it all the time, it goes Raise, 3-Bet someone flats with a hand like TT or JJ, the board comes all low cards and then they can’t get away from it.
Monster Hand on the Button
Blinds 250/500 with 50 ante Tournament with 25,000 starting stacks effective
BTN: A♠ A♥ We raise to 1,200
BB: 3-Bets to 3,700
Should we 4-Bet this hand?
So there are some arguments for 4-Betting here, those would be let’s say our opponent has JJ–QQ and are quite happy getting in stacks pre-flop but then once the board comes with an over-card to their pocket pair they will be less inclined to want to play a big pot post-flop then we lose value.
This is a very real concern, but a good question to ask yourself in these spots is how weighted to value is your opponent, if you think they have a big hand then you could lean towards 4-Betting, however, if your opponent could ever be bluffing here, then we want to keep these hands in the pot, so in these cases, flatting is going to be much better for us.
Flatting, in general, is probably going to be the most profitable play here in the long run, we allow bluffs to continue and we allow weaker hands to pick up equity post-flop and make mistakes.
Flop: K♠ J♥ 5♥
Our opponent now leads out for 4,500
What do we do now?
This is one of those spots where we are either going broke when our opponent has KK or JJ or we want to keep them in the pot, flat calling their lead here makes much more sense than raising and obviously folding is out of the question.
If this board was much more coordinated let’s say a board like 6♠ 8♣ 4♣ then I can see a raise to get all the chips in the middle a much better line in this hand, but we block the nut flush draw having the Ace of hearts in our hand in this pot so we aren’t really protecting from much by raising this board.
We are playing this hand to just get all the chips in on the Turn card, so we will look to smooth call and then move all-in on the Turn as we could potentially still do this with some draws that will balance our range to include some semi-bluffs on occasion.
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