“Trouble hands” in no limit Texas holdem

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How should hands like KQ be played in limit vs. no limit Texas holdem?

“Trouble hands” in no limit Texas holdem

One of the most important differences between playing no limit Texas holdem poker and playing Texas holdem with a limit is the so-called “trouble hands.” In limit, hands like KJ, KQ, and AT (that's ace-ten) are pretty good hands. If you have one of those hands on the big blind, it's usually correct to call a single raise. If it turns out that the raiser has AK and winds up flopping a better pair than you, you're going to lose some bets, but it won't be a disaster.

In no limit and pot limit Texas holdem, it's a whole different story. Defending your blind with KJ is not always wrong, but you need to tread carefully. Losing your stack every time a K or J comes on the flop and you're up against a better hand is a sure recipe for going broke quickly. At the same time, that need to be cautious means you can be forced to fold the best hand when you're faced with a big raise from a flush draw or even a stone cold bluff. When you're just playing poker for fun with your friends, go ahead and gamble it up, but in a serious game it's usually best to throw these hands away.



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