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How to make Poker hands profitable

I was having a discussion with a few people the other day about the merits of playing certain hands differently and one hand we discussed was playing A-Jo in early position in a full ring game. Most people were saying to raise with the hand and a few were saying to fold while some even advocated limping because the hand was marginal and out of position. Now all of these options are not ideal because of the fact that your situation isn’t ideal

This is akin to basic strategy in a game like a blackjack where in many situations then you simply don’t have a good play. One such example is having 14 against a dealer face card of 10. Whatever you do your situation is a dire one.

There are some situations like that in poker. If we fold the A-J then we could be folding the best hand and while this is a safe option, it may not be the best option. Raising is also highly marginal at best although I do like raising more than folding in today’s modern full ring dynamics. I like limping but not as a limp-fold or limp fit or fold strategy.

That is always going to be weak poker and weak poker simply isn’t going to cut it anymore when it comes to making money. I often discuss strong poker strategy on my poker blog and this is something that you are going to need to devote some serious studying time to. I often look to limp-raise in certain select situations because it traps in the middle overzealous steal raisers.

It also gets away from many situations with the absolute minimum loss as well. If I limp and another player in early position raises then I have a clear fold and only lose one big blind.

My hand is dominated and I have found that out with only one big blind. Likewise, if the action is raise-3/bet after me then I have a straightforward fold. I have found out that my hand is second best without having to raise. However and here is the key because when we limp then our play looks weak. It then gets folded to a late position player that raises to 4.5bb and the small blind and big blind both call. This is a perfect set up for a limp-raise because we are representing a big hand and our opponents’ ranges are sufficiently wide while our ace reduces the number of ace combinations in our opponent’s hands.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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