You Are Playing Too Many Hands

A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet one of the top poker players in the world. He’s a former World Series of Poker Player of the Year and full-time professional poker player.

In my discussion with him I told him I was running badly at the poker table. I asked him if he gave poker lessons. He did. Before I could ask him when, where and how much he gave me a free piece of advice I will never forget.

“You’re playing too many hands,” he said.

Now this player had never seen me play a hand. We were talking at a party, not in a poker room.

With that thought in my head – you’re playing too many hands – take this advice to play better poker immediately.

Are you playing A6, A7, A8 or A9 from any position on the table besides the small and big blind? You’re playing too many hands. Suited or unsuited those four hands are bad hands. They are called one-card poker hands. If you hit the ace on the flop, you are playing one-card poker and are likely outkicked by a better ace.

Are you playing connectors below 10, like 9-8, 8-7, 7-6, 6-5? You’re playing too many hands. When you play 6-5 suited, you’re playing 6 HIGH! That means two of the three cards on the flop and probably all three are going to be higher than your 6. I’ve heard the excuse – ‘what if I flop three sixes?’ First, it’s unlikely that you will flop trips. Even if you do it’s likely you are beaten by a six with a better kicker or a full house.

Are you playing K-10, Q-10, A-10, K-9? You’re playing too many hands. I love it when a player has K-10 and I have A-K. When the king flops the player pays me off to the river with an inferior king and I win a nice pot.

If you are playing low buy in poker (2-4/3-6/4-8 limit and $.50/$1 NL) such is spread throughout The Shopper coverage area you are probably playing too many hands. Limit your starting hands to only 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, J-J, Q-Q, K-K, A-A, A-K and A-Q. Throw away every other hand except the big blind when getting to play for free. You can mix in those danger hands when you are winning.

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