Flat calling ranges in poker

Flat-calling in no-limit Hold’em poker has something special: beginners do it too often – advanced players often do not do enough. How to optimize your Flat Calling Range is explained in this article.

Today’s strategy article is all about flat-calling – the cradling of elevations in position and without position. The big drawback to this move is that, unlike a 3-bet or opening, we do not take the initiative. That’s why we have to choose our flat-calling range very carefully, both in position and without position. The following tips and poker strategies are especially for 100BB online games.

Flat Calling Ranges in position

Position is the key to successful no-limit hold’em poker. That’s why we can design our flat-calling range much further in position than without a position.

Flat calling with pocket pairs in position

In position you should usually call with all pocket pairs a preflop raise, with which you do not want to start a 3-bet. This is of course dependent on the situation, but will mostly correspond to the range of 22-TT – against openings from early positions additionally JJ and against some players even QQ. If you have very aggressive players or short-stackers behind you who regularly squeeze, then you can occasionally just call with KK or AA and let them run into the trap.

If you hold a small pocket par (22-66), then there are often three higher cards on the flop. You should just give up your hand against a continuation bet. Middle pairs are a little better: you can call a continuation bet on many boards and reevaluate the situation on the turn.

Flat calling with suited connectors in position

In order to call a raise with suited connectors profitably, you usually need position. You often hold a hand on the flop that has some equity and you would like to see the turn. Without position and initiative, it is not possible to make a profit with these hands in most game situations.

Flat calling with Broadways in position

Suited Broadways are great for a flat call. Very often you flop enough equity (pairs, backdoor draws, overcards, …) to float profitably or bluff.

Offsuit Broadways are also good, but you should play a bit more conservative. Against a opening from a late position is a call from the button with QJo or AJo certainly profitable, against an increase from early position but not. Strong Broadways such as AQ or KQ can also be included in position in your Flating-Range – with AK you should usually start a 3-bet.

Flat calling with suited aces in position

Most good poker players love suited aces. In many situations you flop enough backdoor equity to float profitably or bluff.

Flat calling without position

Without position (from the blinds) you should make your flat-calling range much more conservative. The position penalty is just too big to flatten profitably many of the above hands.

Good hands for a call against openings from late position are middle pairs and suited broadways – but you should be careful with openings from early positions, and very, very tight flatten.

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