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Playing the High Hands

The best high hand is a good starting hands, but holding the second-best high hand is one of the worst situations to be in.

This is especially true if there are also low hands out against you.

Thus, when you play a high hand, you have to be very sure that it is the best high hand out.

If you are the high hand and are playing heads up against a low hand, you sometimes will have to make a tough decision about folding on fifth street.

This usually occurs when the player who started low catches two more low cards.

In this case, you frequently will be folding the high hands, unless you have improved to at least two pair.

If you do improve, you usually have improved to at least two pair. If you do improve, you usually have to go to the river and just pay it off, even though you will lose many of these hands.

However, a lot of times you will win, because the player going for low will have made two pair, or a pair and a low draw, but will not have completed the low.

When this happens, you will scoop the pot. Even though you will be playing the hand blindly – that is, you won’t know where you stand – it essentially becomes a showdown.

You can’t make the mistake of folding just because your opponent has a scary board.

You should play high hands very strongly when there are other high cards out, as you are trying to trap the second-and third – best high hands are hoping to drive out the low hands.

Most of the time when you are playing a high hand heads up against a probable low hand on third street, you have either raised or called a raise ( or a reraise ).

If the low hand now catches an ace on fourth street and his other low card is a wheel card, it usually is correct to fold immediately.

But you sometimes can make a “crying call” and then must be prepared to fold on fifth street if your opponent catches anything that looks as though it could be trouble or if your hand falls slightly dead.

This is one of the tough situations that comes up in this game, and there is no substitute for experience in helping you to determine the right course of action.

You almost certainly are facing either a pair of aces or four low cards.

Consequently, when you are against a poker player who you believe started with three low cards and he immediately catches an ace, it is usually best to fold your big pairs.

Also, if an opponent who appears to be going low pairs his door card on fourth street and bets, you should fold.

This is especially true if a likely hand for this player is a small pair with an ace kicker.

Now you could be facing trips. But even if you are not against three of a kind, your opponent will have playing advantages over you, and since the pot is still fairly small, it is usually best to get out.

When the second-best high hand is in the pot and you have the best high hand, you want to punish him.

However, once a lot of money is put in early, you must be prepared to go to the river.

When there could be two low hands out against you, try to avoid putting in a lot of money early with a high hand.

On a later streets, you can get caught in a raising war and get punished, because the large pot makes it difficult to get away from your hand.

The time to push a high hand is when you are against another high had ( but not one as good as yours ) and a low draw.

This is one of the better situations, though it may not always seem so. Obviously, it is also a good situation for the low hand.

But it is not as good as most everyone thinks, because the low hand frequently will bust out and you’ll scoop the pot.

Introduction / Position / Playing the High Hands / Bluffing

Slow-Playing / Knowing Your Opponents / Raising Aggressively

The Toughest Decision of All / Staying to the End

Pairing the Door Card / Keeping Track of the Cards

Scare Cards / An Expert Play / Another Good Play / Quick Notes

Afterthought

Basic Strategy

Advanced Strategy

Additional Advanced Concepts

Other Skills

FAQ

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