There are some poker hands that come up all the time that cost beginning and even some seasoned poker player’s mountains of chips. Learn to avoid the pitfalls of the trash hands below. This article will focus on both preflop and postflop play.
Tip One: Ace With Anything Low
You will often be dealt a starting hand that includes an Ace and a low card of some kind. Welcome to the number one trash hand of all time. Many players can’t bear to fold this before the flop, especially if the two cards are suited. Now I’ll tell you why you should not be playing Ace rags in most situations. You can’t win much with it, but you can lose plenty. It’s what’s known as a “dominated hand.” You play it and hit another Ace on the flop. Good, right? Well sure, but when you bet it everyone else will fold unless they have an Ace or can beat a pair of Aces. So you don’t win much there. But say you get called. You guessed it, you’re probably facing another Ace, and this player’s kicker is probably higher than the pip-squeak you’re holding. This puts you in a guessing situation, and if you’re like most players, you’ll bet or call all the way to the river with your Ace-rag only to be shown another Ace with a kicker of ten or above. You just lost a decent sized pot. Not good. Same thing goes for any of the face cards with a low card.
Tip Two: Ace-Ace: The Best Hand in Hold’em
How can this be a trash hand? It’s not. At least not before the flop. But you have to know how to play pocket Aces and when to muck it when your twin peaks backfire on you.
The usual scenario is this: You raise with your AA before the flop and get two or three callers plus the blinds. This is not an ideal situation. Understand that raising before the flop is not done to get more money in the pot. It’s done to scare people out. You see, it’s a great hand against one other player and a good hand against two other players, but for each additional caller the odds it will win go way down. If you’re in a game where seven or eight people are calling before the flop on every round, there’s no point in raising, you might as well just call to get some deception value from your Aces.
Back to the story – So you raised before the flop with your Aces and got two or three callers. The flop comes 9-10-J with two of a suit you haven’t got. You bet out and are immediately raised. You are in trouble. You should seriously consider dumping the Aces now but the temptation to play them out is far too great, so that’s what you do. You then watch in disgust as the flush, or straight, three of a kind, or even two pair take the pot at the river. Happens all the time. That being said I never fold Aces if there’s no raising, and will call a raise to the river against a habitual bluffer. Just be aware of the dangers of falling in love with pocket Aces and don’t whine when they don’t pan out. That’s part of the game. You’ll win with your Aces a good percentage of the time.
Tip Three: But They Were Suited
Don’t fall into the trap of playing mediocre hands just because they’re suited. The odds of getting two more suited cards on the flop are 7.5 to 1. Even If this does happen you are still not a favorite to get your third card on the turn or river since four cards of your suit are already in your hand, or on the board. Chasing weak draws till the river will burn a deep hole in your pocket.