Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bug's Poker Tip #26

They're Called Trouble Hands for a Reason

It's that old trick question: what's the worst possible starting hand you can be dealt in hold'em? Most beginners answer "7-2 offsuit" or "3-2 offsuit" or something similar. Bzzzzzzzt. These hands may technically fair the worst when run hot-and-cold to the river against the majority of other hands, but most of us also have enough common sense to fold them before it ever gets that far. In other words, you don't usually lose a lot of money with cheese cards like this. On the other hand, however, so-called "trouble hands" (a.k.a. Reverse Implied Odds, or RIO, hands) like KJ, KQ, AT, and QJ can lose you a ton of money at showdown.Why? Because people get married to them when they flop top pair. These kinds of hands simply look too good to fold... but the truth is that if you're getting a lot of action from a decent player on, say, a K-6-2 board when you hold KJ or even KQ, you're probably going to lose at showdown. By definition, an RIO hand more often than not wins little and loses big.  Now, I'm not suggesting that you never play hands like these, but I am saying that you should proceed with great caution if your competent opponent won't go away on an otherwise dry flop when you have TPGK. Said another way: Don't get married to these hands; be willing to get a quickie 'Vegas-style divorce the minute you suspect your hand is stepping out on you. She probably is.

All-in for now...