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Mainly a term used in the internet poker world that refers to micro limits or micro stakes games. It simply means very small stakes, which range from 2nl to 25nl. One of the big advantages of playing online is the variety of stakes a player with a smaller bankroll can play without risking too much.
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Beating the micro stakes
Because micro stakes players play too many hands and often call too much with them it should not come as a surprise that a successful micro stakes strategy can completely revolve around the following two key aspects:
- Getting the most value from hands in which you know you have a great edge
- Avoiding marginal and unprofitable situations
Although this is really what beating the micro stakes is all about, I suspect that the above two lines did not cause you to have that ‘aha moment’ we’re after yet. Therefore we will take a closer look at the following aspects and tactics:
- Starting hand selection
- Value betting
- Slow playing
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Starting hand selection at the micro stakes
Some important take home messages regarding starting hand selection at the micro stakes:
- Play extremely tight in the blinds and in early position.
- If there’s a raise in front of you, be very reluctant to call with easily dominated hands like QJ, AT, KJ etc.. This is especially true when it’s an early position raise, because hands like AK, AQ and high pocket pairs will be a great part of the range you’re up against and those hands all have you dominated. When in doubt with these kinds of starting hands: just fold.
- Make sure you know how to set mine correctly and don’t spew away your chips by just going to the flop every time you hold a pocket pair.
- If you want to play more speculative hands like suited connectors, suited ace-low or so called ‘one-gappers’ (like J9) than do so in late position either by raising when you are first to act (mainly to steal the blinds) or by calling with multiple players in the pot already to see a cheap flop. Know what you should be looking for when playing these hands: be able to easily let go of your one pair hands and play your big (combo) draws and pair + draw type of hands very strong.
- Going all-in pre-flop with AK is generally not a good idea at the micro stakes.
- Proper starting hand selection is only the beginning of a winning micro stakes poker strategy. You can be great at selecting your starting hands, but if you don’t play them right you’re probably not going to get very far. If you regularly find yourself in situations post-flop where you don’t know what to do, try to play a little tighter and only start opening up your starting hand range when you feel your post flop play is getting better.
- Try not to rely on starting hand charts too much.