Limit Hold'em: Pre-flop Play old

This article describes the criteria you should follow when playing pre-flop in limit hold'em. In general, the betting round before the flop is the easiest in limit hold'em, because the reliable starting hand chart (SHC; see below) helps you to make the most important decisions before the flop, namely: Which hands should I play?

It's totally ok to comply with the starting hand chart at the end of the article. Nevertheless, it's important to understand the basic ideas of pre-flop play. This enables you to make good decisions, if you don't have the starting hand chart handy. In addition to that, you can deviate over time from the standard strategy in special situations or when you are up against uncommon opponents. These are the criteria you should follow pre-flop:

  1. The quality of your own hand
  2. Your position at the table
  3. The number of players in the hand
  4. Is it a raised or an unraised pot?
  5. The strength of your own post-flop game
  6. The skills of your opponents.

1. The quality of your own hand

It is very important to play good cards and to fold weak hands. This is due to the fact that better hands are easier to play than weak ones.  

With marginal hands (hands with a slightly positive or negative expected value)...