Folding the Second Best Hand

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 00:44

Folding the Second Best Hand

Important poker strategy.


Every poker player wants to get rid of his worst hand, but most attempts are futile. Why is this so? Well, maybe it's because most poker players think that a seven and a two must be the dis-card pair worth dumping when actually it's not. The second best hands like an Ace and a small card or a King and a nine are really the worst hands because they can be quite dangerous. In fact,  even intermediate level players have gone bankrupt due to this tiny glitch in understanding good hands and those that have a high possibility of going bad. These next best hands can make players lose without knowing what hit them. They give players a flickering hope that lasts only until another player reveals a better hand.

To help poker players avoid confusion over which cards to discard and which ones to keep, knowing second best hands is a good start. Before a flop, players must learn to fold hands known to come up as the next best ones. They must learn to handle Aces and Kings with care because their opponents might be playing their King with some connector or something good enough to come up with a straight.

These second best hands are every loser's temptation to keep on playing until every dime goes down the drain. But what is behind this too risky behavior? Gambling psychology suggests that these poker players have developed this certain curiosity of finding out what their opponents are holding. Some would even go as far as calling when they know that they already have weak hands just to check if their opponents are only bluffing. The price for curiosity here is too high. There are even instances when a player's bankroll is lost.

Now, let's learn how to handle these second best hands in No Limit and Limit poker games. Playing second best in No Limit can be more risky than in Limit games because there is the possibility of bankroll bankruptcy. Players might want to watch out for hands that can decrease in value as the game progresses. Pairs of aces and face cards belong to this category of good hands turning bad. For Limit games, most second best hands don't leave players penniless but they do cause significant damage in the long run. To avoid losses from second best hands, players should focus before a flop. It would be wise to only play with safe, reasonable kickers. Players should not fall for dominated hands where they might end up battling it out with their opponents having the same cards.

Together with these strategies in dumping second best hands, any poker player can maximize his wins through slow playing without having to worry about big, unexpected losses. Expected value computations also help poker players in knowing which cards have high probabilities of coming up. Poker is really a game of relativity. Just when players thought they found their winning streaks, coupled with great poker promotions, they realize how odds can quickly change.