Under The Gun Play

Strategy & Advice by MrMercury Posted

Just wanted to get a recommendation. I've been running into some trouble playing hands under the gun. Two questions:

1) What is the lowest hands you think should be played under the gun?

2) Do you ever limp in under the gun? Not that I do it but I have seen people try to get away with it and I'm wondering if this a new tactic or just bad play.

Curious to hear what everyone thinks.


  1. I don't play with under AJo and 66. Too susceptible to re-raises with better hands.

    As for limping, it doesn't work. You HAVE TO raise under the gun and show strength.

  2. Of course, it depends. You should have a balanced value range from that spot if you're playing cash games. Pairs 99-AA, AK,AQsuited, KQ suited, also 7-8suited to 9-10 suited occasionally. Stay away from broadway cards that are easily dominated like KJ, Q10, and all of your junk hands. You shouldn't play squeaky tight from there because it's easily exploitable by smart players with position...you want opponents to think more flops could hit you and that way you get paid off when you hit. You can easily represent AK on a Ace high flop when you miss with suited connectors.
    As far as limping goes, that seems to be really popular in the low live cash games, but it is really a terrible play. It works when you limp a premium hand when you have a loose aggressive player who likes to steal all the limps with a raise and then you can reraise, but that is really just turning your hand face up.

  3. @PokerDeranger The only time I don't raise utg is with kk AA on a table that has been shown to be preflop aggressive. If I am fairly confident that someone is going to try and raise I will just limp. The advantage of getting to be last to act when someone does raise outways the problem of not weeding out shitty hands. There is some risk but I have found the reward to be better.

  4. Yeah, I don't like going with anything under AQ and 9's. Once again, it's player and image dependent. If you think you can get away with raising a lower hand, give it a shot. But overall it's a good standard. Not sure if like playing 6's or 7's but agreed if you do you need to be prepared to continue along with the pre-flop action unless it gets crazy.

    The limping sucks too. Agree with Leroy if you try the trap method, you're pretty much showing your hand.

  5. @Leroy Firwood totally agree.

  6. @Leroy Firwood That is exactly why I think limp/raising that tight is turning your hand face up....if you only limp/raise preflop with AA/KK it is basically a huge Check-Raise....It, over time only tells people to fold preflop to you....I might fold Queens to you on the button with that style...I think ultimately you are giving away the $value of the hands that way.
    Better, sometimes to flat call out of position(to the limp/raise/call), and try to extract some value$ after the flop. And another reason for not limiting your UTG raises to, like, 4% of your range.

  7. @notalento I completely agree with you. Great advice!

  8. Rob
    • Rob

    At most games I've played at, you can get away with limping UTG with medium and small pocket pairs. A lot of hands are limped around, and if there's a raise, it's worth a call to set-mine.

    But if its an aggressive table, no, that won't work.

  9. Yeah, it's very player dependent and the hand range can vary slightly but the key is no matter what you have to be ready to deal with a re-raise. If you're not going to defend it, don't play it.