Best Poker Hands
In the long run, if you're a good enough player, any profit you make will come from the mistakes your opponents make when they play against you. One typical mistake your opponents will make is to play too many hands. Poker theory says that the best way for you to take advantage of that error is also to play a few more hands than average. Don't play too many more hands, though, just a few more.
I'm now going to show you another starting hand strategy. This new strategy is designed to be fairly conservative, safe, easy-to-understand, a little more fun to play, and, most importantly, a little more profitable than the other strategy you learned in the last chapter. Another advantage you'll have is that once you've learned this new strategy, you will then know two different starting hand strategies, so you'll have options when playing before the flop. You won't always play the same way with the same cards, so your opponents won't always be sure of what you have, which increases the likelihood that they'll make mistakes. Remember, your opponents' mistakes mean more profit for you.
The new way of choosing your starting hands that you're about to learn is pretty easy because it's based on understanding your play rather than memorizing certain groups of hands. Let's take a look at your second strategy for playing before the flop.
For the most part, you're going to consider playing with these three types of hands:
Pocket Pairs. You can now play virtually all pocket pairs. You can even see the flop with the small pairs under the right conditions, as I'll explain in a moment.
Suited Aces. Hands like A484 or even A424 qualify under this category.
Hands that add up to 20 or 21. An ace counts as 11, face cards count as 10, and all other cards are worth their face value. For example, AJ is 21 points, KQis 20 points, and A9 is 20 points. A48* is not a playable hand because it is not suited and does not add up to twenty.
There are forty-eight pocket pairs below a pair of 10s (pairs of 10 and above fall in the third category). There are twenty-eight hands that are suited aces that do not add up to 20 or 21, and there are 206 hands that add up to 20 or 21. This total constitutes 21.3% of all possible hands. That's twice as many hands as you were playing using the other system.