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Playing your hole cards

Playing your hole cards can be a real trial especially if they are a pocket pair. Pocket Aces are the real killer. They just look so damn pretty when you play No Limit Texas Holdem.

I was playing Texas Holdem online this morning. A free game just to while away some time until my buddy picked me up to go to the casino. For some reason I kept getting pocket pairs. First it was a pair of Deuces. The flop came 8d,Ah,8s which gave me two pair Eight’s and Twos. Losers.

A couple of hands later I drew pocket Aces. I did not improve until the river when an eight was paired on the board giving me Aces and Eight’s. Losers.

It went on like that through Pocket Jacks, Pocket Tens, and Pocket Aces again. Losers all. Most of the time I would see the flop and drop the pocket pairs like hot rocks. The trouble with pocket pairs is that they look so good before the flop. Especially pocket Aces. But after the flop they are most likely beat if you did not catch the set. The temptation to follow the pocket Aces all the way to the river can be overwhelming, at times. The times, especially if you have been throwing away hand after hand. Sometimes you just have to mentally slap yourself to bring you back on track. Make a play plan, and stick to it.

You should know that if you do not have a hand after the flop that most of the times you should not be in the game.Muck your cards and stare at the cocktail waitress. If you have not flopped a set with you pocket pair it is most likely a losing hand. If you see a pair flop and you have two pair you might as well figure that someone else has three of a kind. What are the odds that you are going to fill the full house? Not good. Muck your cards.

The real clincher came when I was dealt Pocket Kings when I was in the dealer position. I had it all. The second highest pair. The position to see what the competition was going to do before I acted, and enough of a chip stack to run a semi-bluff. The flop came. 10d,Jh,2s. I had the second highest pair, no chance of any flush, and a double inside straight draw. Three players were left in the game and both checked to me. I bet.

An Ace rolled over on the turn. Now I was faced with an over card, an inside straight draw and two players who had hung on through every bet. They checked to me. I had the feeling that my semi-bluff would be called by both of them and there was a good possibility that I was being slow played by at least one of them. I checked. A King was rolled over on the river giving me the set, finally. The idea nagged at me that I was playing against pocket Aces that had made his set on the turn. Glaring in my face was the real possibility that at least one of them had the nut straight. But no I was fine, for once.

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