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Self-Weighting Cold Calls

One of the most common and frequent mistakes made by players who are somewhat better than average, is that of cold calling other players' pre-flop raises with inadequate hands.

Many writers including Skylansky have mentioned a general principle of poker which describe that, on average, you need a better poker reading hand to call a raise than you need to raise with yourself. There are some reasons behind this. First, when you are not the first players in, and you come in for a raise, or you may win the pot after the flop. However, when you call a raise cold, you can win by the second way.

A second reason relates to the underlying strength of your calling hand and the raiser's hand. If you have a hand close to the extent of your hands you would raise with if you were the first to act, then what will you make your hand if you are faced with a raise from a player whose raising standards are similar to your own? His hand on average will fall higher in that extent.

There is more to this underlying strength consideration. As Skylansky has pointed "Why You Lose in a Good Game" in Getting Best of It, the odds you are getting from the pot could sometimes make calling in these situations fairly correct - if you knew the raiser did not have a high pair. In fact, you must consider in high pair when you know your rival's extent of raising playing hands. It gives you with the notion of calling his raise with what figures to be the worst hand and a hand actually "dominated" by a high pair. Including the high pair factor to the other two I gave hints the scales strongly against the option of calling raises without adequate hand values. Though to find players calling raises cold with hands like


is common. Such hands are strong enough to raise with in some situations. More often they are not even playable. Though with poor knowledge of pre-flop approach, and how it affects your play after the flop, will call a raise cold with these hands without any concern.

Mason Malmuth in gambling guide Theory and Other Topics has introduces learners of gambling theory to the statistical concept of self-weighting and non-self-weighting approaches. Non-self-weighting approaches are important for gambling games such as in poker. As Malmuth's has mentioned it, "Non-self-weighting approaches tries to identify where the gambler has the best of it and then make the most of it." The player sticking to non-self-weighting strategy is very selective in looking only for those situations where he has a positive expectation. When he finds anything he then invests (bets) a lot. He will always avoid those situations where he does not posses positive expectation. He keeps his investment always to the minimum. A tight or aggressive way of playing has a great impact over this strategy. This is the only way played by all the winning and expert poker players.

However, a player who is unselective about where he invests (bets) and who wants to invest money in all cases, is sticking to a self-weighting strategy. A portion of problems with such a strategy is somewhat correct, profitable bets that are made need to be balanced by incorrect, losing bets. A loose and passive way of playing is a best example of such an approach.

Think what happens if you play the game correctly, but unfortunately you call raises cold with hands like KJ. For building up profitable investments you have added a group of losing investments. The profit from the correct calls and raises you make with a hand like KJ is counterbalanced by the cost of incorrect cold calls make with the same hand. Your cold calls reflect a self-weighting aspect of your play poker and reduce your profit you otherwise make.

I comprehend that these cold calls are more expensive mistakes than might first be obvious. This is fairly because they are mistakes in hand selection, a decision that has been made again and again. As significantly, hand selection mistakes want to combine themselves as players may find difficult with hands that makes the decision difficult after the flop. After all, these cold calls are one of the expensive hand selection mistakes. Every bad play, before it combines itself, starts with erroneous investment of not only one bet but more than one bet.

If anyone asked you, "Will you like to find some losing positions and invest more in them?" You should set aside this question as preposterous. This is clearly what players do when making these self-weighting cold calls. Though some of them are selective in the rest of the pre-flop play, their results are spoiled by these terrible calls. Whereas few players lack knowledge in the poker basics, those who pretend to know better possibly lack the ability to lay down a hand which looks better than the average. They fail to understand that a hand which is reasonably strong in certain situations can be a big dog as opposed to others.
It won't make any difference to have such players in a game. But it would be terrible to raise with

and called by and later lose to

each time I raise with a high pair and receive a call from someone who makes such kind of mistake.

Continue Here: Will You Pass The Ace-Queen Test?