“Raise,” said the stranger in the five seat. He was busy racking up his chips. Everyone folded to me, holding Ad5c in the big blind. I had a decision to make.
It was late in our $30-$60 hold’em game. The stranger had built a wall of chips. It appeared he was not that used to having a lot of chips, because his wall was in great jeopardy of tumbling down. Not from bad play, although his play was not that great, but from bad architecture. He had built several stacks 40 chips high, and lined them up at the very edge of the table. He had not built a stable base. Any false move by anyone and the cleaning crew was going to be finding a bonanza for weeks.
Three spots from the big blind, he got up and grabbed a few racks. Clearly, he was heading home. Now his raise had come while he was tearing down the wall and putting it into the racks. I had some things to think about before I acted.
Specifically, I usually consider three things:
What general criteria do I use in this situation (in this case, defending the big blind) in deciding to call, raise or fold?
How well does my hand (in this case, ace-rag) meet the general criteria?
Are there any other tells or situational issues that might affect my decision (in this case, an opponent racking up chips)?
Consideration 1: Defending the big blind
A lot of limit hold’em …