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High Gapped Hands
I want to talk a little bit about starting hands, and the ones of greatest interest to me are hands that contain two unpaired unaced cards bigger than 10 (T through K): K-Q, K-J, K-T, Q-J, Q-T, and J-T.
These hands are very tricky and you never know where they will lead you once the flop comes.
K-Q can be the most tricky of them all. Even if the flop gives you a pair and you have a good kicker (and we must admit that Q or K are good kickers), you can be easily beaten by the same pair with a better kicker (meaning the ACE). This hand probably gets more players into more trouble than any other hand in the game of Texas Hold'em.
To some extent it can be referred to all the hands of this group. You should understand the level and style of your opponents to make a proper decision. However there is one more thing about these kind of hole cards you should admit: do NOT think that suited cards are much better than offsuit ones. These hands are often overvalued, and in my opinion are often overplayed.
Of course the hands gain value, once a game is to heads up or has a limited number of players.
Those hands, A-10, A-9 get players into a lot of trouble. But, the difference between KJs and KJo is a pretty good difference. Not enough to change whether or not you call a bet in which somebody is allin, but in a less-than-substantial preflop bet I'd say it is important. Assume you're a big dog, KJ vs. AA.
Look at these numbers and how you fare preflop. Bringing the flop in makes this so much more complicated because of all the possible suit combinations on the flop. I did the odds through Cardplayer.com's odds calculator.
Offsuit(Assuming his AandA isnt the same suit as your KandJ)
Offsuit(His aces cover your K and J in their respective suits)
Suited(One of his aces is your suit)
Suited(He doesn't have an ace of the same suit as your KJ)
+/- 4%. I stress again, everything could easily change after the flop. This is just preflop. These hands increase tremendously in headsup and shorthanded play, but this is just an example of all the hands stacked up against pocket aces.
I read somewhere that the odds of actually flopping a flush with 2 suited cards are only 0.84%, much more likely your best hope is for top pair or a flush draw.
So if you assume that your opponent has a far stronger hand than your kj suited then you will be facing a strong bet after the flop. To consider calling you will either be holding top pair but no ace kicker or a flush draw and thats where calling the bet becomes difficult because you could be way behind ( if he has a higher pair or better kicker) or not have the pot odds for your flush draw.
Hence, with hands like KJ, KQ, QJ even if they are suited most players would usually say dont get involved in a big pot preflop with these hands.
FOLD!!!! i find these hands (KQ KJ QJ e.t.c) only ever usefull in 2 situations:
1) play comes round to me and no one has opened the pot, i would have to be in middle posistion or better to raise, i will occasionaly limp in with this hand in early posistion to mix things up. The great thing about these hands is its easy to know where you satnd. you are really fearing hands like ak aq aj aa kk qq jj e.t.c, and the other players (unless they are bad or trying to trap you) will tell you whether they have one of these hands by raising or calling if you raised. putting them on a hand pre flop will really help you make your decision on the flop, especially if you hit.
2) In late posistion obviously you have to figure you are holding the best hand if its folded round to you
A suited KJ or KQ seems to me to hold little extra value, people always over estimate suited cards and it seems every player on the net seems to chase a flush every hand, thats the impression i get. Also players like to play suited bad aces so unless you are prepared to play aggressively with you KJ suited and make them fold pre flop you could get in trouble by another flush chaser holding the A of your suit.
all in all real tough hands to play, you need to really be good at putting your opponent on a hand to help you decide whether you are good
ElGod is right!!
These hands are death. The old poker adage goes (something like): "the best hand is great, a bad hand is bad, but a second hand is far, far worse". Those are the ones that will lose you money.
If you're dealt KQo, what flop really makes you happy? Anything with an A will (or should) scare you off, and if a sole Q or K are dealt then you're dead meat against anyone holding AQ or AK respectively.
They seem great because they're one off the ace, but sometimes I'd rather have an 87 than a KQo because more 8's and 7's are gone and off the table and most of the K's and Q's will still be left.
As ElGod says, your post-flop play had better be pretty excellent to make money from these hands.
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