Poker Question – How Should I Play This Hand?

 Often I get an email from a poker-coaching client that begins something like this: "How should I have played this hand?" Then, they simply tell me the two cards they were holding.
 
Regardless of the cards, my first response is always the same three words: "It all depends."
 
When you are trying to determine your correct action, there are many factors to take into consideration. For my money, the cards you hold are the last thing to consider… certainly, not the least important, but the last to consider.
 
Keep this in mind in your decision making process:
 
1. What is the game & structure?
 
2. If a poker tournament, how early or late is it?
 
3. Is it online or live?
 
4. If online, was the action loose or tight during the prior 15 minutes of play?
 
5. If live, was the action loose or tight during the prior half hour?
 
6. How many players are at the poker table?
 
7. Where are you in relationship to the button? What is your position?
 
8. How does your stack compare to the rest of the table?
 
9. Are you short-stacked or tall-stacked?
 
10. Are you nearing the money bubble?
 
There are more questions to answer before you make your decision, however, chew on these for a while.
 
Based on all these factors, even before you look at your cards, decide how strong a hand you need to enter the pot.
 
Before you enter any pot, remember my motto:
If you can't raise, don't call!
Donna Blevins
Poker Strategy Coach
 
In my live poker coaching program, I share many other ways for you to raise your confidence in your decision making during a poker tournament. To find out more go to: Poker Pure and Simpletm
 

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2 Responses to Poker Question – How Should I Play This Hand?

  1. Bruce "the Mid-Life Mentor"No Gravatar March 11, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Whew! Know I know why I never learned to play!  Does your course teach me enough so I wouldnn't make a fool of myself in a friendly game?

    • Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar March 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

      LOL, Bruce! My course teaches you how to be confident at a poker table and LOOK like you know what you are doing while you are learning the game. The game of poker is easy. It is getting out of our own way that is hard!
      Donna

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