The Pre-Flop Check Re-Raise: A Simple Tool to Combat Maniacs
It's pretty standard poker strategy that you want to be in position against hyper-aggressive players.
But the fact is, that's not going to always be the case. There are many times where a maniac player will have position on you and the only way to combat it will be to play out of position.
Today we’re going to review a basic pre-flop move that will help you combat maniac players. The pre-flop check-reraise is a tool that can help you combat maniac players and sometimes get them to overplay their hand.
Basics of the Check-Reraise
The check-reraise is done when you’re out of position against a maniac player or someone that you feel is raising too often pre-flop with poor holdings.
First, you'll want to use this move with top-level hands only. That means aces, kings and queens.
If this seems somewhat simplistic, that’s the intention. We’re trying to eliminate having to make a difficult decision should the maniac play back at you.
Next, it's important that you have a solid read on this player. You have to be fairly certain that your check is going to result in the player raising the pot a significant percentage of the time.
Otherwise you should just raise your big hand as normal.
Check-Reraise in Action
Obviously, the ideal situation here is you’re in early position with your maniac still to act.
When action comes to you, simply limp into the pot. Standard strategy suggests that you’re weak in this spot and hoping to see a cheap flop.
Your maniac player will then decide to raise. We’ve found that a lot of maniac players will tend to raise more than the standard, sometimes as much as 10x the blind.
When action comes back to you it's time for you to re-raise. You’ve really got two moves here. The first is a normal re-raise of around ½ to ¾ the size of the pot. The other move is all-in.
Your choice depends on your objective. If you have queens it can’t hurt to bring the hand to a conclusion now so that a hand like A-K doesn’t outdraw you.
If you have kings or aces, you can throw in a three-bet in hopes that he overplays his hand and shoves.
Punch the Bully in the Mouth
A large percentage of the time this type of move is going to win you a nice pot or result in you stacking your opponent.
In either event you will have effectively punched the table bully in the mouth and earned yourself a lot of respect at the table.
We will say that the one downside to this move is that your big pre-flop raises are not going to get paid off as often after this move.
However, knowing this can allow you to maybe make a few maniac moves on your own. In essence you can punch the table bully in the mouth and then take the other kids' lunch money.
The check-reraise is a simple but effective tool for combating maniacs at the table and something you should keep in your arsenal.
It works well for both cash games and tournament play and is something you should consider trying out the next time you find yourself out of position against a maniac.