Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Any pair - they provide you with the possibility of high pair, two pair, three
of a kind, full house and four of a kind. Naturally the higher the pair you
start with the better off you are -
* A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J
* 10-10, 9-9, 8-8
* 7-7 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2
Any high card accompanied by another of their matching suit – These
starting hands have the potential of achieving a high pair, three of a kind,
flush, a straight or a straight flush. Depending on their arrangement any
suited A, K, Or Q have potential flush possibilities.
* A-Km, A-Qm, A-Jm, A-10m, A-9m , A-8m, A-7m, A-6m, A-5m, A-
4m, A-3m, A-2m
* K-Qm, K-Jm, K-10m, K-9m, K-8m, K-7m, K-6m, K-5m, K-4m, K-3m,
* Q-Jm, Q-10m, Q-9m, Q-8m, Q-7m, Q-6m, Q-5m, Q-4m, Q-3m, Q-2m
* J-10m, J-9m, J-8m, J-7m, J-6m, J-5m
* 10-9m, 10-8m, 10-7m, 10-6m

Any high card with another unsuited high card – These starting hands
have the potential of achieving a high pair or straight. (Note: it is a good
idea to only play the combination of unsuited cards if their value totals to 21
or more.)
* A-K, A-Q, A-J, A-10, A-9
* K-Q, K-J, K-10, K-9
* Q-J, Q-10, Q-9
* J-10, J-9
* 10-9
Low card accompanied by any other low card of matching suit – The
only potential these cards have is the may achieve a possible flush or
straight, because they are connected by suit.
* 9-8m, 9-7m, 9-6m
* 8-7m, 8-6m, 8-5m
* 7-6m, 7-5m
* 6-5m, 6-4m
* 5-4m, 5-3m
* 4-3m

You should fold if you have
any starting hand that is not found in the above list.

It is important that you realize when playing Texas Hold’em you will end up folding
prior to the flop most of the time. This is because you will likely experience frequent,
terrible starting hands on a regular basis such as 2–7 or 3-8. Don’t let this discourage
you. You need patience when it comes to playing Hold’em, so don’t expect to win
every game you paly or you’ll only end up losing all of your chips. Keep in mind that
although a strong starting hand is a good sign, and increases your chances of nabbing
the pot, always be prepared to fold if your hand fails to improve, because more than
likely another player already has the better cards.

Knowing when and when not to fold or bluff during a Hold’em game takes
experience, and the only way you are going to gain that is to practice and play
frequently. However, knowing how to minimize your losses and maximize your
winnings is all about knowing the right time to bet, call, raise, check or fold.

For instance, if you want to cut your losses, fold during the preflop if you do not
have a strong starting hand. On the other hand, if you’re starting hand has
potential, the longer you stay in the game and raise the bar, the more
opportunity you have to get the other players to keep adding money to the pot;
thus maximizing your possible victory.

The above folding tip sounds obvious and perhaps you may even think it to be
easy, but the truth is, folding is sometimes difficult for players, especially for
those players who have little patience and a lot or pride. To help you decide
when to fold ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I currently have potentially one of the best hands according to the number
of players in the game?
2. Do I have enough faith in my hand to take on the other players’ personalities?
3. Is my hand worth the current wager?

Although you’ll never know the exact answers to these questions, the whole point
of asking them is so that you will follow your gut instinct and do what you feel is
best for the present game, and your budget. Basically, asking yourself these
three questions is like giving yourself a bit of a reality check.

Furthermore, there are technically two particular rounds in Hold’em where folding
needs to be considered seriously, the Preflop and the Turn. The preflop gives you
an indication of your potential victory with your starting hand, so if it doesn’t look
good, you can fold quickly out of the game and cut your losses early. The turn,
on the other hand, is your last chance to fold before you put your final chips in
the pot for the last round. Thus, if you reach the turn and all of your confidence
in your hand has run dry, you can still cut your losses by skipping out on the
The whole point to bluffing is to trick the other player(s) into believing you have
the best hand. The reason you want to do this is so that players will fold out of
the game and you can win the pot. Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it?
Sure it does, but like everything else in life, anything that sounds easy rarely ever
is. After all, do you actually think there would be so many strategies out there if
gambling was that simple? Of course not, and that’s why it takes skill. And how
do you achieve this skill? Experience!

If you are able to check in the game, take advantage of this opportunity. Why?
Well, if it happens that you are still in the game after the flop, have an O.K. hand,
and are the first person to bet, you can check and hope that the other players
follow suit. If your plan works, you will be able to make it to the next round and
get another card without having to lose any more of your chips.

Checking can also work to your bluffing advantage if you have a strong hand. For
instance, if you have a strong hand and you choose to check instead of raising
midway through the game, the other players may be tricked into thinking that
your hand is weaker than it actually is.

In addition, if you believe that your hand is likely the best of all the players after
the flop, at this time it is usually a good idea to check/raise. Check/raise means
that you check whenever you get the opportunity, and raise if you are bet into.
On the flip side of the coin, should you feel that your hand isn’t strong enough
you can check/fold, which means you check if you get the chance, and fold if you
are bet into.

Above all, you need to remember that when it comes down to it folding is often your
best option as it allows you to control your money, giving you the chance to really
nail your golden opportunity once it finally comes your way. Hence, spend less time
obsessing over winning every game, and use your focus on a good hand to maximize
its potential and win the pot.
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