Aquinas’s concept of justice, whilst interesting, creates several problems in its practical application. The first problem is how to identify the circumstances that we find ourselves in. If we cannot recognize the reference class that the situation belongs to then Aquinas’ maxim gives us no guidance as to the correct course of action. The second problem is that it is impossible in all but the most trivial of situations to know what we ought to do without prior consideration.
As acting human beings we solve these problems in the moment by bundling any given situation into a class that appears to be sufficiently similar. Even very novel situations, which we cannot have considered fully before, have features that will enable us to associate them with some broad reference class
It is excusable for us to spend very little time considering in advance what we ought to do in trivial and unlikely situations. However in situations of high value which we expect to encounter regularly it is our duty to be prepared. In today’s article I will help you do yourself justice in one such situation.
The question that we concern ourselves with here is,
“What is the optimal pre-flop strategy in a 6-max game when the action is folded to us in the Small Blind?”
What follows is a comprehensive analysis of the essential mathematics behind Small Blind versus Big Blind play. Since the correct choice of action for the Small Blind is contingent on the behavior of the Big Blind we shall, in the process of this investigation, discover some boundaries on the Big Blind’s play.
When the action is folded to us in the Small Blind we may choose one of three strategies:
- Limp our entire opening range. Do not include a raising range.
- Raise our entire opening range. Do not use a limping range.
- Use both a raising range and a limping range.
Strategies ‘1’ and ‘2’ offer the advantage of simplicity as we only need to determine the width of the playable range. We never encounter the doubt that a hand which is unprofitable as a raise may be profitable as a limp or vice-versa. Yet, as we shall illustrate here, simple solutions to complex problems are attractive but not necessarily correct.
We shall start our investigation into the relative merits of these three strategies by analyzing the advantages of a pre-flop raise.