Don’t Get Outdrawn in Texas Holdem

Scenario: you have pocket aces pre-flop, you want to keep at least one player on the line so you limp in. The flop comes A, 9, 7, you got trip aces on the flop. It’s a monster, but you don’t want to scare the other player away so you check. He bets and you call. A 6 comes on forth street. You check again and the other player bets again. You call. A 2 comes on the river. You bet all in and he calls. You flip over your aces to show your three of a kind. He flips over 5 8, he made the straight on the turn. You slow played your way right out of the tournament. Think that this scenario is unlikely? Maybe this exact one is, but if you have played even a little bit you can think of at least one time that your monster hand got cracked because you got greedy, it might have even been with aces, it happens all the time. So, how do you avoid this?

First of all the key is to never let someone limp in when you have a strong starting hand. If you get callers to your raise so be it, at least you will have to draw against a potentially strong hand and not let anyone see a free flop. Letting the small blind limp in or the big blind check pre-flop can lead to heart ache. As great a starting hand as a pair of any rank is, after the flop your chances usually fall apart, to avoid this you need to bet like you are representing a high pair, even if it is 2s or 3s. Playing pkv games require attention to details and critical thinking. So if you are a type of player that aims for challenge and competition, pkv games are the best games for you.

Any two cards can win (see article of the same name) and potentially any hand can be made on the flop. True event: big blind is dealt 2 9 off-suit and is allowed to check his option. The only other player in the pot is the small blind. The flop comes A 2 9. The small blind paired his ace and the big blind made two pair; both checked. A 9 comes on the turn. The big blind has made a full house. The rest of the hand is immaterial. The end pot was small but the outcome was big. Since the big blind was able to check on a hand that would have been instantly folded with nearly any raise a monster hand was made. While slow-playing and check-raising can be a great way to trap weaker players or even a solid way to play pre-flop you need to realize that you will get cracked sooner or later if you try to play to sneakily.

Assuming that your cards will retain their strength after the flop is a sure way to show your naivety to the game as well as have one more story to tell about, “that time I had aces cracked. I hate getting pocket aces!” Usually the people that say that are the people that don’t know how to play them. Better to take the blinds than lose your stack.