When you are playing tournament poker you will encounter pre flop min-raises a high percentage of the time, and so it is handy to understand what the phrase means.
For the large part, dissecting min-raises depends on the stage of the tournament you are in. If you are playing at the beginning of a tournament, when the blinds are small and there are no antes involved, then it is very unusual for someone to min-raise.
Instead, players will generally raise three or four times the big blind, because you want to create bigger pots with your better hands.
It is not advised to use the min-raise in the early stages of the tournament, but if you are facing one then understand that your opponent is hardly ever going to be holding a big pair, as they would want to create a bigger pot.
You are more likely to be facing small pocket pairs or suited connectors that are trying to see a cheap flop and do not want to just call.
In the mid to latter stages of the tournament, min-raising doesn’t just become prevalent; it becomes rampant. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that the tournament scene is now dominated by the pre flop min-raises, which have replaced the 2.5x and 3x raises of old.
However, if you are facing a player at the Poker table who is making 3x raises and then suddenly makes a min-raise, beware. You are often facing a strong hand, especially when the raise comes from an early position.
But when the min-raise comes from the button, or cutoff, then you can three-bet more liberally from the blinds as your opponent will have such a wide range of hands.
What’s great about this situation is the min-raise means your three-bet doesn’t have to be so big, so you are not risking that many chips on your bluffs.