What Poker Hands Should You Fold

This might seem like a drawback, but you will end up making more money with the poker hands that you decide to play. As you develop confidence in your post flop strategy, you can add poker hands such as QJ/A9/KT/J9/QT/K9 to your range of poker hands that you will play. (The notion of “pot odds” is discussed in more depth later.) You can afford to call and miss with speculative hands like smaller pocket pairs and suited connectors against raises, knowing that you will fold if you miss. The larger stack sizes also free you up to play slightly unorthodox poker at times. You might want to call with a very.

Hand Guide: Preflop > Flop > Turn > River

Preflop Planning is an excellent guide on how to think before the flop when deciding whether to fold, call or raise based on your position and starting hand. It's the perfect compliment to this article.

Preflop overview.

Before the flop is where it all starts, where you are forced to make your first important decision depending on all of the variables involved with the hand. It is important to make good, solid decisions before the flop, as it will form the foundations for how the rest of the hand will be played out.

  1. What Hands Should You Raise/Call/Fold According to Position? As the dealer button goes around the table, you'll be betting early in the hand, in middle position, or late in the hand. If you have a middling hand like K-J and you're betting in early position, you might raise only to find that three to four players stay in the pot.
  2. You can use the poker statistic folded to 4-bet preflop (F4B) to help with your decision. If a player is folding 40% or less to 4-bets, then the range of hands that you 4-bet with needs to be primarily for value.
  3. A very special situation happened in the TV poker show 'big game', where amatour David Fishman was up 130.000 dollars and poised to take an NAPT passport worth another 50.000 dollars.

If you make a high-quality decision before the flop, you will set the tone for the rest of the hand and give yourself the best opportunity to get into a moneymaking position. However, if you make a bad decision before the flop, you may well set yourself up for a big loss by getting yourself into a sticky position or missing out on a potentially rewarding hand.

Start as you mean to go on in every hand. Make quality plays at the beginning and continue throughout the rest of the hand.

Therefore after you have been dealt your cards preflop, it is important to take your time to evaluate all of the different variables in the hand, and not just make decisions on the cards that you are holding. It is important to consider your position and the type of opponents you are playing against, as well as know the correct starting hand requirements. So make sure you think very carefully before every flop and build the foundations for a profitable hand by making the correct preflop strategy decision.

Preflop starting hand selection.

Choosing which hands to play and which hands to fold is fundamental to playing a winning poker game. The best hands to play in Texas Holdem are:

  • Big pocket pairs: AA-TT
  • Big suited connectors: AK, AQ, AJ, KQ
  • Big connectors: AK, AQ, AJ, KQ

These particular combinations of cards have the best chances of winning than other cards, so if you stick to these you will find yourself in more profitable situations after the flop. It is possible to play other combinations of cards successfully, but if you are a beginner player then it is advised to stick with the big cards until you find your feet at the poker table.

Preflop position strategy.

Your position in the hand is an incredibly important variable that you should be aware of in every hand, yet it is something that is all too often forgotten about.


The dynamics of play are slightly different in the preflop betting round, as the small and big blind will be last to act, whereas they will be the first to act on every other betting round. However, the general principles of position will remain the same, as you want to try and play more hands where you have position over your opponents than in positions where you do not.

This means that you should avoid playing too many hands in the blinds or in an early position, as being one of the first to act in each hand can make things very difficult unless you are holding a premium hand. Be very careful when playing in the blinds, and don’t feel as though you have to enter more pots in these positions because you have already committed money to the pot. It is far safer to let marginal hands go rather than to call raises with half a holding and play out of position for the rest of the hand.

Your position can often play a more influential role than the strength of the cards that players are actually holding, so try and keeping the upper hand by combining good position with good cards.

The cards listed above in the starting hands selection section can be played from almost any position, but you should try and tighten up your starting hand selection in the earlier positions. So as a general rule, you can play with a wider range of the top starting hands in later positions than you should in the earlier positions in the hand.

So the top strategy tips on preflop position are:

  • Always be aware of your position in a hand
  • Try to avoid playing out of position unless you have a strong holding
  • You can afford to loosen up your starting hand requirements in later positions
  • Don’t feel committed to playing hands when in the blinds

Preflop betting tips.

When the action reaches you before the flop, you will be faced with the decision to either fold, call or raise. If there has been no raise before you, then a call will simply mean matching the size of the big blind, which is also known as ‘limping in’. This is generally not a good play, as if you are entering any pot in Holdem you will want to be making a raise and show aggression.

If you are limping in with a hand, you are either entering the pot with a sub-standard hand or you are playing a premium hand too weakly. So the real question you should ask yourself if you are first to enter the pot before the flop is; “Am I folding or am I raising?”

The majority of the time you should either 'pump it' or 'dump it'. Avoid limping in by simply calling the big blind.

Preflop bet sizing.

If you decide that you are going to enter the pot, you should be looking to make a raise of about 3 or 4 times the size of the big blind. By making a minimum raise you are letting opponents with marginal hands come in cheaply, and you are almost defeating the object of making a preflop raise.

The idea of a preflop raise is to reduce the amount of players who follow you to see a flop, as it is easier to make profitable decisions when there are fewer players in the pot. So make sure to come in with a strong 3 or 4 BB raise, and increase the size of the raise if you find that a lot of players are still calling these raises with marginal hands or if other players have limped in before you.

If there has been a raise before you, you must now consider whether you should fold, call or raise. If you have a poor or marginal starting hand you should look to fold. If you have a good starting hand like the ones mentioned above you should be happy to call and see a flop. If you have one of the top starting hands like AA or KK, should re-raise to help try and get as much money into the pot as possible.

Limping in.

There will be a few cases where limping-in will be an acceptable play. This will normally be when there have been a number of other players limping-in before you, and so you will have better odds to see a flop.

The best hands to limp in with are strong drawing hands such as suited cards with an ace or king, or any connecting cards that can make a straight. You are not looking to make top pair in these limped multi-way pots, as they can often land you in trouble. So aim to play hands that can land you a very strong holding or a strong draw, and then comfortably fold on the flop if neither of these materialize.

Top strategy tips for preflop betting:

  • Don’t be afraid to bet or raise
  • Make solid 3 or 4 BB raises when entering an un-opened pot
  • Increase the size of your raise if other players have limped or are calling stations
  • Avoid limping with mediocre hands
  • Only limp if you have a potentially strong hand and others have limped before you

Other preflop strategy tips.

If you are playing in a shorthanded game such as a 6-max table, you can afford to reduce your starting hand requirements so that you can see more flops. If you stick to the starting hand requirements mentioned above, you would probably find that you are folding too often and missing out on opportunities to win money. So you can afford to play other hands such as AT, KJ, KT, QJ and so on.

When making your decision pre flop, you should also consider the type of players who you are playing against. If you notice that a tight player has made a raise, it is likely that they have a very strong hand, so you should re-evaluate the strength of your cards in this hand. Similarly, if a loose player makes a raise, it is more likely to be profitable to be call with a decent hand as you could well be holding a stronger hand than them.

It is important to not be afraid about making bets or raises before the flop. It is important to be aggressive in poker, as it is a winning style that all good players adopt. If you are afraid to make bets and raises when you should be, then you will be making unprofitable decisions and you will find it hard to ever win money from the game. To help accustom yourself to being aggressive, you could try dropping down in limits where there is less money at stake, so that you can become comfortable with playing aggressively and notice the advantages of an aggressive style over a weak playing style.

What Hands Should You Fold In Poker

Useful preflop strategy articles:

  • Starting Hand Selection (Beginner)
  • Position (Beginner)
  • The Gap Concept (Intermediate)
  • Relative Position (Advanced)

Go back to the thorough hand guide.

In order to become a winning Razz player, the first aspect you will need to master is proper starting hand selection. By knowing the value of your starting hand, you will be able to easily know if you should open the pot, fold, or raise during the first round of betting. This is important to build your potential winnings with big hands, while keeping the pot small with your marginal hands, and avoiding trouble with the bad hands.

One of the most common Razz Poker mistakes is playing hands that should have been folded. Just having an Ace to work with, or a couple of low cards without an Ace – simply isn’t enough to go on in Razz. It is not your lowest card that wins the hand, but the lowest high card in your hand. A hand of A-2-3-4 may look awesome, but if the next lowest card is a 9 or 10, it is beaten by a hand like 4-5-6-7-8.


To help with you develop your Razz Poker strategy, we have supplied a card-grouping chart to define what are considered good cards, bad cards, and mediocre cards.

  • A-5 = Good Cards (a.k.a. Wheel Cards)
  • 6-9 = Mediocre Cards
  • 10-K = Bad Cards

When a hand of Razz Poker begins, each player is forced to place the Ante bet before being dealt 3 cards; the first two face down and the third face up. Next, the player with the highest face up card must place the forced bring-in bet. If you are not the highest card holder, you’ve made no investment aside from the minimal ante. This makes folding your hand a highly feasible option with minimal losses, should your starting hand not be favorable.

Razz Starting Hand Strategy

Now, let’s discuss exactly what makes up a good starting hand and how it compares to the ones that should be folded. Normally, you’ll need at least two Wheel Cards (A – 5), including an Ace, to even consider the hand. Two or more cards of 6 or higher should almost always be folded. The chance of being dealt all low cards from this point is incredibly low, and not worth wasting your chips on.

In order to continue on in the hand with confidence, you should only play the some of the best hands. Below is a list of the top 10 Razz starting hands. Should you be dealt one of these hands, make the most of it right away. To let your opponents stay in the hand cheaply can result in them achieving a better hand from sheer luck. When you have it, bet it – when you don’t, fold it. Even though this is playing exploitable poker; it is more profitable than trying to balance your range and play unexploitable. For more information on this subject, see exploitable and unexploitable poker.

Top 10 Razz Starting Hands

What Poker Hands Should You Fold Away

  • A, 2, 3
  • A, 2, 4
  • A, 3, 4
  • 2, 3, 4
  • A, 2, 5
  • A, 3, 5
  • A, 4, 5
  • 2, 3, 5
  • 2, 4, 5
  • A, 2, 6

From this list, we can surmise that any combination of cards that has no card higher than 6, with no pairs of course, can be considered a strong Razz starting hand.

What Poker Hands Should You Fold The American Flag

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What Poker Hands Should You Fold Back

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