In my no-limit Texas hold'em home games, players are allotted approximately $2500 worth of chips. The starting blinds are $5/$10, and are increased everytime the button has moved around the whole table. The increment scheme is first go from $5/$10 to $25/$50 and then the blinds keep getting doubled in subsequent rounds. There are usually about 7-10 players in the table.
The players are people who will call bets/raises all the way to the end if the board matches something in their hands, or if they have a draw or even a high card such as an Ace, regardless of pot odds. For instance, they are willing to keep calling pot-sized bets just to wait for their inside straight draws. Because many people are involved in the pot, there's a high chance at least one of them would make the straight to beat me.
I have tried different strategies:
- Selective pre-flop: Only enter the pot with premium hands pre-flop. A raise usually does not take out many players because as I mentioned above, they almost always call. A raise pre-flop actually does opposite of what I usually want post-flop since if I would then need an extremely large bet to chase them away. Even then, they may not go away if they have a draw or a high card.
- Limp in frequently: It comes down to a dice roll. Unless I hit a monster, I cannot really tell where I stand against so many people (generally around 4). It is also difficult for me to call a bet, knowing almost everyone remaining will also participate. With the blinds going up so quickly, this strategy has proved to be really costly.
- Bluff weak boards: I tried to bluff flops with three widely separated cards such as J♥7♠3♣. It sometimes works if none those remaining people do not have either an Ace or the top/middle pair, otherwise they will call and see what comes out on the turn and river.
Further, I often see myself play either too many hands (such as Ace-Low, King-Middle or middle connectors hoping to hit a flush, a straight or a top pair in a weak board) and miss or play too few hands and the increasing blinds gobble me up. What sorts of hands should I look to play in this kind of games? With so many people involved, would playing low cards be more profitable than high ones, seeing that if my high card hits then likely do theirs?
So, what would be the optimal pre/post-flop strategies to deal with games having blinds increased very quickly, and players almost always call all the way to the end?