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Strategies for Limit Texas Holdem: Which Hands Should You Play?

Strategies for Limit Texas Holdem:  Which Hands Should You Play?

When you sit down at a poker table, whether it’s in a casino, poker room or online poker room, you can tell the better players by what they do…and what they don’t do.  You rarely see them chasing an “almost good” hand to the River.  So one of the things you want to learn is when to play a hand and when not to.

First, if it’s a tight game where only two or three players are seeing the flop (and folding  right after), then you need to make sure the poker cards in your hand are darn good.  You’ll probably end up playing one out of five hands at best.

If you’re playing in a loose game where lots of players see the flop and often take their hands further than they should because they feel lucky, you should play more often.  But as a smart player, that means only about one third of the time.  You still have to pick your spots.

On the other hand, if lots of the players at the poker table are seeing the flop, it gives you a chance to play some low pocket pairs and draw hands.  If the poker table has six players (or less), then you need to look for big cards.  Aces with a kicker become very playable.  Even if the kicker is lower than Ten.  If you’re at a poker room or casino (and that includes an online poker room or online casino) and there are ten players at the poker table, then you have to watch out for trap hands.  A trap hand is one that looks good to you, but is usually only good for second place.  So hands like Ace-Ten, King-Ten or Queen-Ten should be regarded as mighty suspicious.

If you have top pairs, like Aces or Jacks, or top connectors like Ace-King or Ace-Queen, you should raise to drive out low pairs and anyone looking for a straight or draw flush.  And it will build the pot in case you hit.  Don’t start playing poker with marginal hands just because you lost a few pots when you started with good cards in the hole.

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