Various online poker guides (for example, this one) talk about which preflop hands you should or shouldn't play from a given position, and all say basically the same thing. Basically, they group various hands by position, and say that for beginners just learning the ropes, you should only "play" a hand from a given position if it's in the list for that position. But they never seem to elaborate on what they mean by "playing" a hand. Does that mean you should bet whatever's necessary to see the flop (i.e., call/reraise any raise), or does it just mean you definitely should call the blinds, and whether or not to reraise/call any raise is another question altogether?
Putting any money in whatsoever constitutes "playing" the hand in this context.
- If you call a blind, bet, or raise, you are playing the hand.
- If you fold, you are not playing the hand.
- If you are the big blind and there are no bets, raises, straddles, or other additions of money beyond the blinds -- so you do not have to add any money to see the flop -- you are "playing" the hand in a literal sense, but not in the sense that most books or guides are talking about. You almost never want to fold a starting hand -- even a terrible one like 72o -- if it is free to see the next card(s). But you would only keep playing in that situation if you connect with the board in a meaningful way.