There are always exceptions to every rule in Poker – Whether you are using the Hold’em Algorithm for early picks (see ad), there are some hands to avoid – like the proverbial red plague. Shortly after sitting down in a $ 4- $ 8 limit hold’em game, I watched a player in minor blindness spot the flop with a Q-3 offsuit in the hole. (He showed his hand when he lost the fight after improving to a pair of Treys on the flop).
That’s the kind of hand I warn my students to avoid; hands like that can only spell danger. I call this a Hi-Lo hand – one high card (honor card) and one low card (7 to deuce) visit online poker.
Here’s the thing: Starting with the Q-3 offsuit, the one in three times you can expect to fail. (It’s just a matter of probability.) Catch a pair of Queens, but your kicks are very weak. Any opponent with the Queen in the hole will definitely get you kicked out. Match 3 in the hole and you have a pretty good shot, but – with the other eight in play – one or more opponents are bound to hold or catch the higher pair.
You thought the Q-3 was kind of pretty to look down on; You have a warm feeling that it will connect for you. But beauty won’t win many pots. Think about it. What are the facts – like it or not?
There are three more Queens on deck; If an opponent has one of them, it is almost certain that he has the higher shot. What’s more, there are four kings and aces out there. In all, the 11 cards remaining on the deck will put your opponent in the lead, making your hand a huge underdog.
With eight opponents it is likely that one or more of these cards will have one of these cards in the hole. Why invest in such a bad hand – even if you think it’s beautiful to look at and has a warm feeling?
There are always exceptions to every rule. What if your Hi-Lo hands match, say club A-3, and you are in the little blind? If the pot is multiway (three limpers or more) and there is no raise, then it makes sense to invest half the stake to see the flop. You hope to catch two (or more) clubs failing. The odds are huge, but it could lead to a huge advantage.
With luck, you failed your four-to-club flush. There is now a reasonable chance of completing a flush on a turn or river. The odds against you are only 1.86 to 1. Now the pot odds are much higher; and, with multiple opponents contributing to the pot, the flush will make for a big win for you if you hook up.
Indeed, it might even make sense to invest the full preflop bet if you are mid or late holding a hand like that. Again, it should be a multi-way pan and no raise (many limps). The increase will make it too expensive to invest in initially.
You may be asking (fairly) how to make sure there won’t be a raise after you call to see the flop.
Answer: Look to your left to tell. Especially in low and medium limit games, players will not take their chips in preparation to make bets before it is their turn to act. If you see your opponent accumulating enough chips for more than one call bet, assume he plans to increase it. Now you know it is best to fold. Two (or more) bets are too many to warrant a call with this scratch card, regardless of your matching Hi-Lo hand.
It may take a few seconds to pause while you figure it out. Sometimes the dealer may urge you to “hurry,” “and act.” Even so, make sure to give yourself the few seconds you need. After all, it’s your money. As for the dealer, the more hands he handles, the more tips he can expect.