How to Execute a Solid Raise-First-In (RFI) Strategy

JNandez making a raise in a Live PLO table.

RFI in poker is short for Raising First In, and describes which hands we are opening when no one else opened in front of us. In other words, when we are the first to raise before the flop in PLO.

How much should you raise?

This is a very commonly asked question, the answer will be generally to raise full pot. 

The main reason to raise full pot is to maximize fold equity and avoid paying rake. When you win a hand preflop in PLO, you don’t have to pay rake and you immediately win 1.5 big blinds.

If you do end up playing postflop, raising the pot will allow you to hit the rake cap more often and maximize your earnings for the hand.

Additionally, when your opponents call against your range with incorrect hands, you are essentially winning more money.


Its important to know our overall RFI (raising) frequencies. In the following overview, we compare the raising frequencies for low stakes (red), mid stakes (orange), and high stakes (green).

RFI ranges for low, mid, and high stakes PLO.

In the following section, I will go more into detail into the top percentage of hands you should be raising. I will specifically focus on raising from early position, which is the tightest range of all positions. As you’ve just seen, we’re raising around 16-17% of our hands.

Hand Category Examples

The following categories are typical examples of the bottom of our open raising range. They do make some money, but weaker combos than these are either a clear fold or are very selectively being raised.


The top 16% of our range includes all our combinations with Aces, so we are just always open raising them.


EP RFI 46%

Many players overvalue pocket Kings. They play them too aggressively and raise them way too often. In this hand we have a King-high suit and we are somewhat connected. The hand is definitely fine to open raise with.

Most double-suited Kings are generally always an open raise, even with the two low side cards.

Kings that have an Ace heavily block 3-betting ranges and are fine enough to open as well.

Single-Suited / Rainbow Rundowns (Ace)

EP RFI 29%

Even though we don’t have double suits, we are raising these hands quite. Here we are strongly connected with four high cards and we have a suit, so the hand is fine to open raise with.

Although this hand does have a couple of gaps and is not a high EV hand at all, it is somewhat playable.

Three perfect connected cards at the bottom are definitely good enough to open raise with the nut suit.

Double-Suited Rundowns (No Ace)

EP RFI 20%

Double-suited rundowns that don’t include an ace, and are relatively connected. A two-gapper is totally fine to open raise with, but remember that these hands aren’t crushing in terms of EV.

Low Pairs


I will not cover all the low pair groups, but rather hands that exemplify the characteristics we’re looking for to raise first in from EP. Here we have a strongly connected double suited hand which is good enough to open raise.

Strongly connected and single suited hands can call a 3-bet, and all aseets together make this hand good to play.

This hand is somewhat disconnected, but has a high enough pair with a nut suit, and we block most 3-betting ranges by having the Ace and the King.



Always remember to not to overvalue your hand combinations.

The more gaps you have, the more selective you should be with your rundowns. The less gaps you get, the better your hand becomes.

Nutted suits and 3-bet blockers can also be a good indication to raise your hand.

Take a look at the table, analyze what is happening, and then they sure to see whether you want to open raise them or not.

In case you do get 3-bet, we cover what you need to do in this article.

Make sure to check out our discord channel where there are hundreds of people talking PLO and poker strategy day-in and day-out and you can also learn more about preflop raise first in strategy.

I am always curious about learning more about the game and really enjoy diving deep into the strategic parts of it. I work together with the PLO Mastermind as one of the coaches, and I am the person behind the PLO Mastermind quizzes.


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