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My Second Tip For Hold’em Beginners: Play Tight

In a previous post I discussed two-card hands that may look good, but can get you in a boat load of trouble, by which I mean they tempt you to keep on betting with the hope of pulling something, and then getting smacked when you do.  I called them sucker suited hands.  So if you’re beginning the game of Hold’em my first tip of advice would be to fold these hands unless you are in a really good position, and even then be wary, be very wary.

My second tip for beginners at the game of Hold’em would be to play tight.  Playing tight entails a lot.  But I think a big part of it involves how you bet with your two-card hands pre-flop.  According to a study based on 16.6 million actual hands the following two-card Hold’em hands are the most profitable.

1. AA

2. KK 

3. QQ 

4. JJ  

5. AKs (“s” = suited)

6. AQs

7. TT

8. AKo (“o” = off suited)

9. AJs

10. KQs

So the lesson to be learned is that if you want to play tight, and I suggest that anyone who is a beginner should play this way, then only bet or raise when you have these two cards.

If only I followed this advice when I was in Vegas.  But I didn’t and I thought my pair of pocket nines was good enough to win, and I played aggressively, and I lost to my friend Milt, who had pocket tens.  Why can’t I ever follow my own advice?

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