Miscellaneous Topics

Quick Notes

(On a Variety of Subjects)

If you have a small pair with a big kicker and are chasing an opponent who holds a probable larger pair (but smaller than your kicker), you should throw your hand away if your opponent makes an open pair on board (not his doord card) and the pot is not too large, unless you have improved your hand in other ways (such as picking up a draw or another ovrcard kicker).

You now have fewer outs since you most likely cannot win if you make two small pair. This usually means that you should fld in this situation on fifth street, but often call if his pair doesn’t show until sixth poker street. You also would like to have seen one of his open pair cards already out to reduce your chances of running into a full houe.

Here’s an example. Suppose you start with:


You are against a probable pair of jacks who makes an open pair of deuces, and you have caught all blanks. You should fold on fifth street, but go ahead and call if he doesn’t pair until sixth street, especially if you can account for one other deuce.


Suppose on third street, with a small card up, you make it two bets, suggesting that you have a probable big pair in the hole. Now if you catch an open pair on board and your opponent calls (no matter what the street), you are probably against some sort of poker draw since he is calling to continue facing what looks like two higher pair.


If you have a gut-shot draw to an ace-high staight on fourth street, you still usually want to play the hand to the end. But you also may prefer to play the hand heads-up, hoping to win with a big pair. For example, suppose on fourth street that you hold


and are against several players. Your best poker strategy may be to raise a bettor on your immediate right or to try for a check-raise.


Any time a tight player calls from an erly position with a small card up, and there are several big cards behind him, his most likely hand is a three-fulsh (unless two or more of that suit is out elsewhere).


One time that you should fold is when you are sure that you are against a big pair in the hole, and your opponent has caught all possible cards that could give him three-of-a-kind. For example, suppose on third street you raise with


and are reraised by someone holding a small card, and you know you must be against a bigger pair. If this obbonent now catches both an ace and a king, you should throw your hand away, unless you have picked up a draw.