Poker Quiz for after Lesson 2

Quiz: How’s Your Play before the Flop?

Correct preflop play is of vital importance to your overall success. After all, if you’re doing things right, the vast majority of your play will occur before the flop. Note that the questions in this quiz will not ask you things like whether or not you should call, fold or raise with 8 3 offsuit in early position. So if you don’t know the answer to that question, review the preflop lessons as you will not benefit from the information in this quiz. That said, onward!

1. You have pocket 7s 7h in middle position. Two players have limped in, and the action is on you. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

2. You have Jc Jd in the small blind. An early position player calls, two more players call, and the button raises. All the players involved in the hand are fairly loose. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

3. You have Ts 7s in early position. Two players have already limped in. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

4. You’re on the button, watching the sports ticker on CNN, when you look up at the screen and see Kd Qd. You notice that three players have already called. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

5. You have pocket 8′s on the button. Everyone folds to the player directly to your right (known as the ‘cut off seat’), who raises. You should:
a. reraise
b. call
c. fold

6. You’re in the small blind with 4c 4h. An early position player raises, and five players call the raise. The big blind is fairly loose. You should:
a. reraise
b. call
c. fold

7. You have Ac Ad in middle position. One player calls, and the next raises. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

8. You have Ac 6c in middle to late position. Four players have already called. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

9. You have Qd Td in middle position. An early position player raises, and everyone folds to you. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

10. You have Ad Js in the small blind. All fold to the button who raises. You should:
a. reraise
b. call
c. fold

11. You have Kc Tc on the button. An early player raises, one player calls and the action is to you. You should:
a. raise
b. call
c. fold

ANSWERS

1. Answer: B. With a medium pocket pair you’re usually looking to flop a set. Also note that your hand as no blind stealing equity, since there are already two callers.

2. Answer: B. I would just call here. You don’t want to get overly committed to this hand pre-flop, as you may have to get away from it if an overcard flops. Also, three betting probably won’t limit the size of the field since the players are loose. If you could get this pot heads-up, or even three-way, by raising I would probably do so. Otherwise just flat call and see how things develop.

3. Answer: C. Even with a few players already in you don’t have enough of a hand to profitbably participate. Calling here is a mistake often made by players who think they’re better than they are, and by very bad players who lust for action. Fold and don’t give it a second thought.

4. Answer: A. First, keep your eyes off the sports ticker! That being said, this is an easy raise. You have a big hand (you’ll hit a decent flop about 40% of the time), and you have position. Get some money in the middle.

5. Answer: A or C. When you’re still cutting your teeth you might want to fold here. Once you’ve gotten some playing experience, however, a reraise is definitely in order. You probably have the cut-off beat now, and you’d really like to get this pot heads up, thereby greatly improving your chances of winning if your hand doesn’t get any help. Calling here is just a horrible play; whatever you do, avoid option ‘B’.

6. Answer: A or B. Folding is out of the question. I’d strongly consider reraising, if only because a three bet might ‘tie someone on’ who didn’t really flop anything if you’re lucky enough to hit a set. Remember: anyone who flop only two overcards is almost always drawing dead to a flopped set. If the flop comes 8c 4c 2s, you’d like to have hands like Ks Jh, or Ad 9d, come along for the ride, since they have no chance of beating you. If hands like this would usually fold on this flop in a medium sized pot, but call in a big pot, then it behooves you to reraise. However, if the pot is only being contested by five or fewer players, a call here is probably in order. Folding is out of the question. Also note that this play is stronger when you’re on the button, since if you miss you may have a chance to take off a ‘free card’ on the flop, assuming everyone checks to you.

7. Answer: A. Here’s the tip of the day; don’t get cute with pocket A’s. The only time I won’t raise or reraise with aces is if I’m on the button, nobody has yet come in, and the blinds are unusually tight players. Otherwise playing ‘American Airlines’ before the flop is a no-brainer.

8. Answer: B. Top-notch players will often raise here (as will action players, and incorrigible maniacs), but they aren’t gaining all that much from the raise. I’d want to see the flop here, but I’d like to see it cheaply.

9. Answer: C. I know, I know, this hand looks so pretty that it’s hard to part with it. But you must realize that you’re opponent probably has a strong hand, and that flopping top pair could very likely get you into a whole lot of trouble. Remember the golden rule: DON’T COLD CALL RAISES PRE-FLOP. If you’re tempted to call, start looking for reasons to fold. If you can’t find any then look again. The only time you need to be cold calling pre-flop raises is if many players have already entered the pot and you have a hand that plays well multi-way. Otherwise fold or three-bet.

10. Answer: A. He’s probably on a steal, which means you’re hand is likely to be significantly better than his. Also, you’d like to blow out the big blind, which will improve your chances of winning unimproved.

11. Answer: C. If you’re unsure why check back with question eight. Cold calling raises pre-flop is an absolute guaranteed ticket to the poor house. If you’re going to start doing this, then send your money instead to the World Wildlife Fund. Manatees make for a better charity case than poker players.

HOW DID YOU DO?

8-11 Correct
Congratulations! If you answered at least 8 of these questions correctly, you should feel pretty confident that you know what you’re doing pre-flop. And heck – good preflop play is half the battle! Be sure you understand the reasoning behind the answers and then move on to the next lesson.

6-7 Correct
If you answered six or seven questions correctly, and you did so with a solid idea of why you were making these decisions you should still move on to the next lesson. Just be sure you understand the answers.

3-5 Correct
You’d really like to see a slightly higher score here before moving on. This is especially true if you got some of the more straighforward questions wrong. Review the hand rankings and the concept of position. Then come back and give it another shot.

0-2 Correct
Hmmm… If you got two or less correct, we’re guessing you haven’t really looked over the preflop lessons or have failed to understand the fundamental concepts of pre-flop play. Knowing how to play your hand before the flop (especially knowing when to fold) is really important if you expect to make any money, so go back and take another look at the preflop lessons.

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