Texas Hold Em Poker Starting Hands

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One of the most common mistakes that I see novice internet poker players make, is their selection of starting hands. Many players who are just starting out, and even those who have been playing for awhile seem to feel that “any two cards can win.” They have probably lucked out and beaten the odds a few times by playing that 9-2 suited, so they feel the need to see way too many flops. While there are times when you want to see as many flops as you can, poor starting hand selection is one of the number #1 ways to get yourself in to trouble.

If you have read my book, The No B.S. Guide to Winning No Limit Texas Hold’em, then you have heard me state many times that internet players will play ANY suited cards. This is all too true. I can sit down in almost any game online, at least for lower dollar amounts, and within minutes, see players playing hands like 9-2, T-5, and especially hands like K-4 suited. If you only fix one bad habit in your poker game, let it be this one.

First of all, the chances of hitting your flush are just way too slim to begin with. Second, even if you do hit your flush, you may not have the winning hand a great deal of the time anyway. (this is another key flaw; chasing down hands that once they hit, will not win the hand anyway!)

The other problem, mainly with playing these hi-lo suited combinations, is that it is way too tempting to play out the hand if your high card pairs up. In these instances, you will be out-kickered the majority of the time as well.

Take this hand, for instance that I played the other night on Full Tilt.

It was early on in a 90-player Sit n Go and I was dealt A-Q suited in diamonds in early position. Making a 3x the Big Blind raise, I got a call from 2 other players in late position, one of them, the player on the button.

The Flop came As-6d-2d.

I made a 2/3 pot sized bet with my high pair and flush draw. One player folded and the button player called.

The Turn was a Ts. I made a pot sized bet, figuring to either get all of his chips or take down the hand right now. Of course, I got a call.

The River was a 9d, giving me the nut flush. I went all-in, got a call and my opponent flipped over J-4 diamonds.

Obviously he was out of the tournament and I doubled up.

Moral of this story: quit playing bad starting hands and quit chasing down a hand that will likely not even win. The “just got unlucky” argument does not hold any water here. J-4 suited is not a good enough starting hand to be calling pre-flop raises with. Learn this and you will money a greater percentage of the time and bust out of tournaments far less often.

To purchase my 224 page ebook The No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Holdem or live one-on-one coaching sessions with Chris Wilcox,  click this https://www.chriswilcoxpoker.com/category/kickstarter-2/p
Check out http://www.internetpokercoach.com for up to the minute info, tips, and strategy on all things poker related
For any questions, concerns, or opinions,  please email Chris Wilcox at chriswilcoxpoker@gmail.com

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