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Playing "Top Ten Hands" Pre-Flop

By: BEN HANACHI @ 12:41 (EST) / 291 / Comment ( 0 )

You must consider your hole cards and position strength in how you play your hand in Texas Hold'em. You must know what kind of action you want based on the strength of your hand and play accordingly after taking into account your position. You have very little control over how the hand will develop at this stage as the flop has not yet been dealt.

You should raise an opened pot whenever you think you have a good chance of winning it. You will aim to force opponents to put more money into the pot when you judge you are likely to have the best hand. Most players raise with their best hands, so you will almost always fold to a tight player's raise and avoid getting involved in a hand where your hand could easily be beaten.

If you have a premium hand like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, or AK, you would always re-raise rather than just call. You re-raise to both protect your hand by eliminating players who may be looking for a straight or a flush hand, for example, and to hopefully get into a two or three player situation where you will have more chance of winning and increasing the pot size, as these players feel they also have strong hands.

The more players that see the flop, the less money you will win with hands like this, even though there is more money into the pot. If you do win in this instance, you will win a larger pot, but it is well known and supported by statistics, that the more players that see the flop, the less profitable the top ten hands become, as your opponents chances of catching a big hand such as a flush increases.

Top Ten Hands - Pre-Flop Raise

Never just call a pre-flop raise as this is in most cases could be bad play. If you feel the raiser has a less than premium hand, you should re-raise to get more money in the pot.

Top Ten Hands - The Flop

On the flop you need to reassess the strength of your hand based on the three cards dealt and what your potential best hand now is and as importantly, what your opponent's best hand could be. Be careful to notice potential flush draws where three cards of the same suit have been dealt as well as potential straights. If you have the lower pair, say 7-7 for example and there is a larger couple of cards on the flop, such as A or K, take this into account as another player may have flopped a higher pair. This is where position and observation as to what the other players bet comes in and you can make your playing decisions accordingly. 

Top Ten Hands - The Turn and The River

When playing these or any other hands on The Turn or The River, you will need to review the strength or potential strength of both your hand and your opponent's hand as above. Again you will need to use the strength or weakness of your position to further gauge what your opponents have and whether to check, fold or raise?


You should never bluff when you are new to poker. You should begin as stated above - start by playing the Top Ten Hands whilst you learn the game and its many nuances. Once you have gained some experience you can watch "PSO LIVE TRAINING VIDEO" for tips on how to bluff and then add this element of poker to your own game.

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