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October 19, 2010

Expanding Your NLH Starting Hands Part 2

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Written by: Chris Wilcox
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Today I wanted to briefly follow up with a post I did yesterday on expanding your range of starting hands at NLH. This is a topic that bears a lot of analysis as it applies to your poker game, as it can ultimately determine how successful you are over the long haul.

One of the ways I like to expand my starting hands, depending upon what type of game I am playing, is by playing non-suited connectors. While everyone gets excited about suited connectors, I feel that non-suited ones are often overlooked and if played in the right situations, be yield big profits.

However, when making hands like this part of your game, it is important to remember that you don’t HAVE to play them when they are dealt to you. What I mean by that is this: in a 6-handed game I probably wouldn’t play 6-7o from UTG. That is just nor a profitable play long term. However, I might play it from middle position at a 9-player table if there are a bunch of limpers. Or, I may play it from the button if I am opening a pot. So, you see, it is important to not just say ‘I am going to play these 2 card’ What you have to do is adjust your thinking to say ‘I MAY play these 2 cards given the right situation.’

This sounds like an easy concept, but it is one that is difficult to practice because learning when the right situations arise takes experience. I cannot list every instance for you that it MAY be worth playing 8-9o, nor could you be expected to memorize it if I did. The opposite holds true as well, I can’t list every instance where it would be unwise to play this hand either. The only way to determine which is which is to gain table experience by playing in these situations over and over and over again. Once you have done this, it becomes much easier to know when to loosen up your starting hand selection and when not to.






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