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How To Analyse A Poker Hand In Nlhe

When you play a hand in No Limit Hold’em then you are nearly always better off playing hands that can make big hands post flop. If you play a hand like A-K for example then you are ideally looking for a small pot or a small to medium sized pot. The only exception to this is if you were prepared to bet all three streets and expected to get called down with worse purely to balance your strategy.

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Short of this then you are not looking to play a big pot on several streets in a cash game with A-K most of the time because you are looking to flop top pair with top kicker. When I say “looking to flop” then what I mean is what you actually flop rather than what you do flop. In an ideal world then you would like to flop Q-J-10 or A-A-K but that simply doesn’t happen often enough. So when you raise pre-flop with A-K then you are raising for several reasons but none of them should be to create a big pot.

This is strategic in nature but it is amazing just how many poker players fail to think strategically in poker and they pay the price because of it. Let us say that someone raises in middle position and you decide to make a fancy play with 7d-3c and call on the button. Your reasons for the call are because you want to put a play down on your opponent post flop and get them off a superior hand. Also a straight would be very concealed should you make it.

However this thinking process is flawed because firstly it is very difficult to make a straight with that hand and the straight that you made wouldn’t even be to the nuts which could be a slight problem if other players enter the pot. But also you can rarely win a big pot with that hand combination because if the flop came 7-7-4 or 9-3-3 then even big pairs will not bet every street in many cases. So you have to be careful with your hand selection and if you do manage to get your opponent to fold then you always have to remember that any hand can be profitable in a vacuum but it is always useful to have hands that can make big hands because when you get on the right side of big pots then that is when you can really make a lot of money playing poker.

Like for example if you made a straight with 7c-6c when the board was K-8-5-9-2 and your opponent had K-K. You are clearly going to stack an opponent in this scenario but change that to a board of Ac-Kc-4s-3c-9h with three opponents all betting and calling on the previous streets and I do not fancy your chances of having the best hand even though you hold a flush. So when you look to construct a playable hand then you have to be aware of how your hand plays in various scenarios.

An A-K is a great hand for re-stealing and winning small to medium small pots. A hand like 7-6s can make a big hand but your flush will not be to the nuts. So you are in danger in a big pot with a flush of not having the best hand and so a straight may be a better hand to make than a flush in a big pot. I would much rather have 7-6s and the board be A-K-5-4-3 with no flush and know that I hold the nuts than make a flush with it and get all in for 100bb and then sit there hoping against hope that my opponent isn’t going to turn over a bigger flush.

About Lucy

Lucy is a professional poker player and shares a keen interest in all card games be it blackjack, rummy, gin, spit, and more. She wishes to share her experience that she gained over the years with other new player.
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