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Multi-way pots and why you should avoid them

By: baud2death @ 09:19 (EDT) / 509 / Comment ( 0 )

We have all been there.

We raise from middle position and before we know it, everyone around us is involved in the hand --- nightmare!!

Poker is a game of odds and the more opponents we have, the better our hand needs to be to beat out them all.

Individually, rag hands can not beat AA, such little chance.

Collectivly, a full ring of rag hands will crack AA, such a strong chance.


I had a hand recently where I raised AK preflop, 4 opponents call my raise and we see a flop. I have position on 3 of them, they all check and with a K-9-X, 2 hearts on board, I decide to bet the pot, the button shoves and I call. He shows 99 and I get KO'd.

I was sick, but when I looked at it further, I should have played it more cautiously.

First, I shouldn't have assumed the opponents that checked were weak, a set trap there was possible, or even two pair.

Second, In a multi-way pot, a pair (even TPTK) isn't good enough to beat the odds someone could have a better hand. Sure, its a chance they could have nothing but it is likely they don't. In Poker we deal with liklihoods and how to manage them.

Third, Since the opponents in the hand are numerous, chances are the pot is quite bloated and you are either getting rich or going broke...

Bottom line : In a multi-way pot, regardless of how opponents have acted so far, you need a stronger holding than a pair to be sure to be ahead. Two pair is good, a set is better and straights/flushes even more so. Assuming a pair is ahead here, you will win less pots than you lose and often because the size of the pot is quite bloated, when you do win its nice but when you lose, you will likely be knocked out.


Morale of the story - the second i had 4 opponents in, it was check/fold or check/call to a cheap showdown

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