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Texas Holdem: Hand Values

Texas Hold'em: Hand Values
by Wilson of

If you've ever watched a WSOP (World Series of Poker) event you've probably heard the phrase Big Slick. Big Slick is a nickname commonly used in poker that represents a starting hand of an ace and king of the same suit. This starting hand is very powerful as a player has a chance to build on two of the strongest cards in the deck as well as a potential Royal Flush (A, K, Q, J, 10 of same suit). Hand values determine whether or not some players hold'em or fold'em. Let's take a look at some basics for Texas Hold'em hand values.

Your position definitely affects your hand value in Texas Hold'em. The closer you are to the end of the betting cycle the better. This position is often called the closest to the button. If you are the SB (small blind) or BB (big blind) then you will often end up betting on weaker hands than you might want to in order to see the flop or more. Also, the other players who are closest to the button get to watch your actions and read your every move before they have to bet.

Starting hands are the main ingredient for success in Texas Hold'em. The trick is knowing how to use the cards to your advantage based on the situation of the game. If you are going head to head it will be perhaps a different approach than a table of seven players.

Veteran players will study all of the possible "outs" or in other words, "ways to win" with the combination of their hole cards and what's sitting on the table. This approach takes time and experience but can be mastered.

The basic hand value rule in poker is to look for the high cards especially if they come in pairs, suits, or in sequence. If you sit down and find yourself holding a pair of bullets or rockets (two aces) then you will be off to a solid start. But one of the best opening hands, again, is Big Slick, which actually has a better chance of connecting to more hands. On the other end of the spectrum is the unlucky player who draws the infamous eight and two as their hole cards. This combination is unlikely to connect to anything as the two cards are simply to far away from each other in the deck.

Depending on your position at the table, and your chip count, your play will and should vary. The best rule to remember is that a bet not taken is a bet saved. Poker is still gambling on the fact that you will get a winning hand but we all know that there is much more involved than receiving Big Slick. If you study the game and the basic strategies you will usually have a better chance to be at the winners table. Hand values are important but knowing what to do with them is another story. Luck to ya.

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