Unless you are in the blinds, your first physical act during a poker game will be to bend the tops of those cards over and take a peek at your holdings. Each and every one of us should be hoping to see a pair of Aces because it is the best starting hand in NLHE.
As those looking at the
will tell you, having the best starting hand is great but you will only be dealt them 1/221 times. So unless you are David Blaine we have to start considering life without them.
There are other factors you need to consider when deciding your pre flop action other than your hand value. What position are you in? What is your effective stack size and the stack sizes of the other players sat around the table? How many people are playing? What type of players are there? What is your perceived image at the table? How has the flow of the game been?
There is a lot to think about isn’t there? So one of the most important things to do pre flop is to observe and to think – be aware.
On one given day,
pundits note that you may decide to open AJo from early position and on another day the hand may go into the muck quicker than a 6 year old kid in a field. You may decide to call an early position raise with 78s on the button because he has been playing so tight he must be playing the top 11% of hands and therefore be exploitable should the board hit your hand hard.
So next time you are at a table considering what your first move should be – take my advice and make your first move nothing to do with the cards.
Stop, look and listen!