Ok, someone came to my website searching for whether or not raising helps you win in poker. DEFINITELY YES! I thought this would be a good post to write.

Many players play with “scared†money. They are afraid of taking chances. They only want to play the “absolute†best hands. People want to “make†money playing poker (it’s ‘ok’ if you do — but they treat the money in their stack as their salary — so are afraid of losing it). If you raise really high — you’ll usually only get people playing high pocket pairs (JJ+), but usually only KK or AA if the raise is high enough.

The Experiment:

For fun (plus I was being a bit of a dork :)), I decided to go into the ultra low limit tables ($0.02/$0.04) where I didn’t really care if I “lost†$5 (well, of course I care, I don’t like losing, but this was a worthwhile experiment :)). (I also have more info at my site at winningonlinepokerstrategies.com) So it was worth the $5. (Especially because if I lost it, I would just go to a higher limit game where I could make it back in 2 minutes).

ANYWAYS. Basically I went to the $0.02/$0.04 tables and almost every hand raised to at least $0.50 on any semi-decent hand I had. (To put it in perspective, a “big†raise in poker is usually 3x the big blind, in this case it would be “$0.12″, and a “HUGE†raise would be $0.20). Anyways, I was having fun raising everything from $0.50 to $2 in a $0.02/$0.04 game. Almost every single time I raised everyone folded. I very “quickly†made $1.00 in about 5 minutes. (To put this in perspective, it is a 20% increase on your initial investment. So it would be like making $20 in a $1/$2 game in 5 minutes, or $200 in a $10/$20 game in 5 minutes).

I found the ONLY time someone would call (or put me all in) is if they had AA/AK/KK/QQ. Almost every other time they folded. So the strategy was really simple. If someone actually called my bet, then I needed to play ‘good’ poker. (I.e., if they only called, and I saw a flop and didn’t hit, I should probably check to their pocket pair or AQ/AJ/etc which they probably wouldn’t fold anyways). If they put me ‘all-in’ preflop, then it would be a good idea for me to fold (unless of course I had AA :)).

So…

The results:

Basically, as long as I kept raising, I made some ‘pretty’ pennies. I just needed to watch out for the all-in bets, and providing I did so would usually come out ahead.

AND… I’ve also watched the “higher†limit games (I.e., where blinds are $25/$50), and almost always — it seems like there is one guy with a $20k stack kicking everyone elses but because he raises to “$175″ almost every hand. The guys sitting relatively short-stacked (i.e., $1000 vs $5000 max buy-in) would almost always fold to that, and this guy would be cleaning up the blinds. Well — let’s say he does this 5 times in a row, thats 5*75=$375, so he can ‘afford’ to see a flop that one time someone decides to call. And providing he is playing good cards, would win it anyways (because usually someone only ‘calls’ that when they start getting ‘pissed’ and just want to see cards).

So anyways………… If you are feeling like a dork, start raising!

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