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Playing Marginal Hands In No Limit Texas Hold'em
Posted at 01/21/2008 08 AM in Poker Strategy by Sack.
When you watch no-limit Texas hold’em on television, in a tournament like the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour, you see some amazing plays. Some of these plays come because of a player starting with an unusual, marginal hand. While such moves may be fun to watch, the classic caveat “don’t try this at home,” is often applicable.

Playing Marginal Hands in No-Limit Texas Hold’em If you’re starting out in no-limit Texas holdem online, you should try to refrain from playing marginal hands. In poker, if you start out with the best hand, you have a better chance on average of ending up with the best hand than your opponents. It costs little or nothing to fold until you are dealt a hand that has a strong chance of winning. On the other hand, playing a weak hand can cost a fortune.

The problem is that certain marginal hands can be “trouble hands,” meaning they are likely to make the second best hand, costing you a great deal of money. Hands that can be big trouble include hands like K9 or A8, hands that will be hard to fold if you hit the flop, but can lose more easily than you might think. Playing any two suited cards can cause similar trouble. If you hit your flush, you may never get action until the one time an opponent has hit a bigger flush, costing you everything. Some players think this is a bad beat, but remember that you often put your stack at risk when you play marginal hands.

Why Pros Can Get Away with Playing Marginal Hands You may have seen players like Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu on one of the major poker sites or on television playing marginal or even bad hands and going on to win tournaments. The reason players like this can play such hands is because they can read their opponents for strength and weakness and understand when they can win a hand and when they must release. These players often make plays that are about their opponent rather than their hand and can be made with any two cards. Often, when they flop a big hand with these types of cards it is just an added bonus. Many amateurs are not strong enough to be able to make such reads, and playing such hands is more likely to backfire than to result in great successes. If you do decide to play marginal hands in no-limit hold’em, remember that your post-flop actions should be based primarily on your read of your opponent. If you find yourself committing a lot of chips with middle pair and not knowing where you are in the hand, you should probably tighten up your starting hand requirements.




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