Starting Hand Selection in Online Poker


I talk to a lot of players who play a tight style or TAG style of play. In doing so, they are very choosy about their starting hand seletion, which is good. It will serve you very well in live games and more deep stacked games to have a very tight starting hand selection. However, for SnG’s and most internet games you will play, you can have TOO tight a starting hand selection very easily which becomes far too limiting in the fast paced internet game.

Obviously, I am not advocating playing hands like T-2o and K-4o like a moron, but sitting around waiting for A-K or pocket Q’s will not always happen and sometimes when it does you will already be up against a big stack who is getting the odds and can afford to call your big hand down.

So, what I suggest doing is loosening up your starting hand requirements with one goal in mind: hitting a monster.  If you do not flop that monster or a monster draw, get out of the hand and think no more about it. You also don’t want to piss away your chips by calling raises with speculative hands. You are looking to limp in or close to it and see a cheap flop.

For example, lets say you have 5-6 suited. Not a great hand, but you could really surpise your opponents with a flopped flush or straight. Where most players get into trouble is when the flop comes something like 7-5-2. They get too excited about middle pair and end up losing a big pot to someone who had say 8-8 from the beginning. Remember, the goal is to hit a monster and a monster only. This is how you end up winning big pots early on and how to take them from players who are only playing cards that give them TPTK kinds of hands.

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