Selection of starting hands in UTG
June 14, 2018
In view of the fact that the player acting first in the auction has no information about the decisions of his opponents and cannot build assumptions about the strength of their hands, he has to limit himself when entering the auction by choosing the starting cards as carefully as possible. In other words, in most cases he should bet only with those cards that Fold will not have to do if one of the opponents places a high bet. Here is an approximate range of hands for this position, in which playable cards are marked in red. They can be safely played from any place at the table, but, acting first, it is advisable to enter the auction only with them.
Why is it so necessary to narrow the range of hands in an early position? Let’s look at examples of what the draw of cards that are not suitable for this place in relation to the Blinds may lead to.
Example: a player enters the bidding, acting immediately after the Blind at the 9-max table, having 7.8 suited in his hands. He has suited connectors and he decided to play them. Such cards are rarely played by Reise, and he enters in limping bidding, placing a bet equal to the Big Blind. The opponent sitting right behind him makes a raise, and another opponent in middle position makes Rereise. The situation becomes dangerous, since both opponents have strong pocket cards, in view of the fact that they acted aggressively in early and middle positions. It remains for a poker player to fold, losing a bet with the Big Blind. If he dropped immediately, he would not bear the costs.
If you often enter into trading with UTG in poker with unsuitable cards for it, the player loses a lot of money in the distance. He learns that he often makes voluntary bets preflop, but rarely comes to postflop. Even small losses in a single distribution at a distance add up to large expenses, which negatively affects the performance. By narrowing the range of hands in these situations, the player minimizes the loss in trading preflop.