The Benefits of Raising Pre-Flop

One of the things you want to avoid in poker is being the limper. This is the person who bumbles into the pot pre-flop with whatever it takes to get there. He appears insecure and doesn't know how things are going to go. If you raise pre-flop, you're taking initiative and you're going to intimidate the limpers, giving you control and advantage.

Look for Aces

Suited aces are extremely important in games like Hold 'em. These give you the opportunity to go for the nut flush draw and more, so if you have this hand pre-flop, you're going to want to raise. If you have more than one ace, or the opportunity to create a flush, go for it. Just remember that you have to make it past pre-flop and you'll get more information about what other players are holding based on what they do.

Suited Broadways

If you're set up for a suited broadway (A-K-Q-J-10), then you're going to want to raise pre-flop as well. This is especially true if the table you're at doesn't have a lot of aggressive players. If you're set up for a suited broadway, you should be raising from under the gun and intimidating the other players around you. Even if you don't make it all the way to the river, you will be in a great position if you're able to make the broadway.

When you have the potential for a great hand, even early on, you'll want to act as if you already have that hand. You can use the flop to guide you in your next moves because you'll see how your hand is going to form.