The starting hand you love to HATE

I guess my least favorite “good” starting hold’em hand is JJ. It LOOKS so nice, and LOSES so often, dagnabbit! I even hesitate to play it heads-up.

What do you guys think? Is there a worse one?

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JJ is not a bad hand, really, if you play it like a normal hand. A lot of players open shove it preflop, which I think is a mistake a lot of the time. You can expect to face overcards on the flop a lot of the time, but it is playable. You can jam it preflop when short stacked, but in early position its less valuable playing that way.

33 cause it is difficult to play in most situations…

I get beat by 33 more than probably any other hand. Every time I flop top pair and there’s a 3 on the board, it seems like my opponent has a set.

Ace/King is a curse. If they’re suited (especially spades for some reason) then great, because RP will give me a flush if I get ace and king of spades, but if not, ace/king makes me bet but gives me nothing all the time. A little while ago, I decided to always fold ten/five and, looking back, see no reason to reconsider.

AK can be tricky, because if you put in a big bet preflop and then if you miss, your opponent may have a good guess at what you have. The real strength of AK is over 5 common cards, so if you can’t call a flop bet, its power is weakened.

I like to use AK as a bluff hand. For example early in MTT when the blinds are low, sometimes just limp in and see what happens. If it goes limp, limp, limp, then comes to the BB who raises, you can reraise and see of the limpers with plenty of money in the pot, so improved odds. Your biggest enemies are AA and KK, but watch out for QQ and JJ if they make trips on the flop.

Lets say you are in early position with AK and you get heads up with JJ in the BB. If an A or K comes on the flop, he is going to be wary, and may make a small bet to see if you are ready to fold, or if you fear the A or the K… If a Q comes, he is going to fear AQ even though he is ahead. If no overcards to his JJ come, he is going to try to take the pot right there, and you would not have the odds to call a bet.

The advantage of limping in with AK is also that if you do hit an A or K on the flop, you may be out-kicking someone with an inferior A or K, and they will not suspect this since you limped. Some big pots may be won if they do not pair their kicker. If they make two pairs on the river, they will usually swap from calling mode to betting or raising mode and it will be apparent that they have something better than top pair.

On a final table AK is a good preflop shoving hand. You may take down the blinds, and even if you are called it is not too bad against most pocket pairs. The combined odds of the rest of the table folding and you winning horse race are strongly in your favor. It is a good shove against the second or third stacks in the BB as they will not want to lose their position when they are waiting for smaller stacks to go out, and if you are a small stack, they will not want you to double up at their expense.

That’s easy. Just fold your hand any time a 3 comes on the flop.

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QJ offsuit is a hand I hate to play cause whenever you get top pair your always outkicked. I think I lose more money with QJ than 72 offsuit. However, this isn’t really a premium hand and I would say that deepstacked, the middle pairs like 88s are really hard to deal with postflop because the’re overcards a huge percentage of the time and they seem tough to play, but pocket pairs with overcards in general are really tough to play in my opinion because you have to call them on the flop and if the opponent bets again on the turn it is pretty much a lose-lose situation.

There’s three ways to play jacks, all of them are wrong

all of them on online poker sites.

AA is the one to love hate.

It only took one day to take me to the river again…
AA again