March 14, 2009
In no limit hold’em pocket queens are always a very strong hand pre-flop, but there are many cards that could hit on the flop and quickly turn queens into the second best. This article will take a look at how you should play your queens before and after the flop.
Pocket Queens Prefer Fewer Opponents
Pocket queens are usually the best hand prior to the flop, but the types of hands that opponents are likely to play makes the queens very vulnerable after the flop. A lot of players like to play hands with aces or kings, which puts the queens in a lot of danger the flop comes in your opponents favor. For this reason you should raise aggressively with your queens pre-flop to try to eliminate as many opponents as possible, hopefully isolating one opponent. If you have the opportunity pre-flop you should definitely re-raise, as you will still likely have the best hand and this will be an even further deterrent for other players with mediocre aces or kings to enter the pot.
How to Play the Flop
The best scenario on the flop would be hitting a set. In this case you are almost guaranteed to have the best hand. However, this is very unlikely so we won’t look at it too much. Instead let’s look at a much more likely scenario that is also very beneficial to pocket queens. This would be if the flop came and the pocket queens was an over pair. In this case it is very likely that you have the best hand because it would be a very strange play for your opponent to flat call a raise with aces or kings pre-flop.
On the other hand if an ace or king comes on the flop there is a chance that your queens are no longer good. If you are first to act it is probably good to put in a continuation bet because if your opponent did miss the flop and maybe has the king when an ace hit the flop you will likely win the pot right there because your opponent could easily put you on the ace. The trouble comes when you put in this continuation bet and you are re-raised by your opponent or if your opponent makes a big raise when he is first to act. In these situations the right play would likely be to fold. When you have the opportunity you should be betting the pocket queens no matter what hits on the flop because the majority of the time they will still be good.
In conclusion pocket queens are a very strong hand in no limit hold’em especially pre-flop. You should aggressively raise your queens pre-flop as this will help eliminate weak aces and kings, both of which could hurt you after the flop. Also, by raising pre-flop you are able to represent an ace if one does hit the flop and hopefully pick up the pot right then. If you are raised or re-raised on an ace high or king high flop it is usually the right move to fold. It’s important to remember that even though pocket queens are a very strong hand in no limit hold’em they are also quite easy to draw out on and you should be willing to lay them down when you feel you are beat.
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February 10, 2009
You don’t have to play craps for too long before you hear about the proposition bets. It is probably the kind of bet you see the big risk takers playing, and it is probably the bet you see wipe people out more than any other. Proposition bets have their proponents but there are plenty of people who dismiss them as sucker bets. The truth is, as with so many things, somewhere in between the two extremes. If you ever wondered how craps proposition bets work, or if they are right for you, keep reading. Even if you think you know everything about them, you just might change your stance.
To start with, we need to understand what proposition bets really are. They do not have points like line or come bets. They do not lose by ‘sevening out’ either. These bets do not have any of the features, often found in other types of bets, which involve sitting around waiting; each roll counts. The term ‘Proposition bets’ is really a category that covers both ‘hardway bets’ and ‘one roll bets’. These are two starkly different types of bets, only related to each other because of their high risk/ high yield profiles.
Hardway bets are just what the name says. By making a hardway bet, you are wagering that you will roll a specific number the hard way (via doubles). These bets can be made on the number 4, 6, 8, or 10 and obviously these numbers have to be rolled with doubles. If the number is shown, you get a big payout (not quite fair odds, but from 7 to 1, all the way to 9 to 1). If the number you are betting on is rolled, but not via doubles, you lose. If a seven is rolled you lose. Otherwise your bet remains on the table. The house edge on these hardway bets vary from 9% to over 11%, which is fairly high for the game of craps.
Hardway bets still are not risky enough for you? No problem. It’s sister proposition bet, the one roll bet, is as risky as it gets. These payouts can get as high as 30 to 1 and house edges are pushing 17%! These also might be the simplest bets at the table. You pick what you believe the next roll will be, and if you are right, you win big. If any other number is shown you lose and your bet is cleared from the table.
Proposition bets probably should not be your go-to bets, but they are a great way to spice things up. Even the most careful players can find a place in their game where proposition bets fit in. If you plan on playing craps with a lot of proposition bets you should keep them relatively small. With one roll bets specifically, if you are losing your bets every roll, you had better have a pretty hefty bankroll to keep in the game. It can be easy to bet away your whole stack in just a couple of rounds.
August 28, 2008
Article courtesy of ThePokerBank.com – one of the top resources for Texas Hold Em information and strategy around the internet!
Just as there are many hands in Texas Holdem that will win you a lot of money, there are a number of deceptive hands that may lead you into believing that they are profitable when in real fact they will often lose you decent sums of money from your bankroll. The sooner that you learn about the hands that are costing you dearly, the sooner you can start saving yourself from losing money. This article will address the most common hands that novices play with and highlight the reasons as to why they can be dangerous hands to play.
The ‘any two suited cards’ is a very popular hand that all varieties of beginners like to play. A flush is a pretty strong hand in the game of Holdem, and so if you manage to make one there is good chance that you will win a nice bit of money with it. Therefore many new players to the game will be prepared to enter pots with any two cards as long as they are suited just in an attempt to catch a flush at some point during the hand. There are two reasons as to why playing any two suited cards is dangerous.
Firstly, it is not that much more likely that you will make a flush just because your cards are suited. The probability of making a flush in Holdem is pretty low, and so it does not justify calling bet and raises in an attempt to catch one on the flop. On top of this, amateur players will often continue to call bets and raises with bad pot odds to make a flush on future streets, which just adds to the problem of playing such hands. The second reason is that you can catch half a hand like second pair on the flop, and end up losing money to another player that has formed a better pair than you. So by playing random suited cards you are setting yourself up for two great opportunities to leak money, so don’t do it.
Another type of hand that always manages to cause the beginner poker players a problem is the low connecting cards. These are almost identical to the problems caused by any two suited cards and can help players to lose money over the long run. It is not too likely that you will form a straight every time you enter a pot with connecting cards like 5c 6h, so don’t enter the pot under the false pretences that you will. You will simply be losing more money in the long run, as well as losing money in pots where you catch half a hand and your opponent catches a stronger one. So save yourself some money and fold before the flop.
One final hand that amateur players get overly attached to is a rag ace. Rag aces are simply aces that are accompanied by a low ranking holecard below a Ten. The problem that these hands cause is that players find it difficult to let the hand go after they pair their ace, and so they will often end up losing a lot of (if not all) of their stack to a player that also makes a pair of aces but with a better kicker. The best way to play these types of hands is to exercise a little self-discipline and fold them before the flop. It is unlikely that you will win a big pot with them, but it is likely that you will lose a big one. Save yourself a bit of money by folding and catch out the other amateur players the next time when you hold a stronger ace than them.